Our school in Zahle, Lebanon was able to reopen on the 31st May 2021 and all 300 students returned to classes. It was a welcome relief after months of lockdown and home lessons where the children were constantly asking when they could go back to school.
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A normal routine has resumed and thanks to the exceptional work of the teachers throughout lockdown offering homework packs and home lessons, the students have not fallen behind. After a week of revision and checks they have all moved on with the curriculum and started new topics. The school has even opened up new classes for older children that are new to learning and an extra preschool class.
Now that the students are back in the school building and on a normal schedule, they are thriving once again. We are hopeful that there will be no more lockdowns or iterations in school.
Vocational, computing and extra curricular lessons also resumed in June, giving opportunities for the children to learn sewing, carpentry, IT, dance and football.
Project Officer Bethany Lanier says, “The students have been eagerly creating projects that they can be proud of in these classes. The joy on their faces as they try something new and have that sense of accomplishment is priceless”.
Despite the good news that the children are back in school, the current political climate in Lebanon continues to be increasingly difficult. The country has had no government since all members resigned after the ‘October’ revolution. This was followed by the tragedy of the port blast in August 2020, and the dire political and financial situation continues to deteriorate.
Currently many Lebanese citizens are living in poverty and the large refugee and migrant worker populations have been hit the hardest. Basic commodities have become increasingly scarce and prolonged power cuts are having a knock on effect on transport, internet, water and waste collection.
The economy continues to deteriorate, causing prices to go up which affects the running of the school we support in Zahle and the livelihood of the students and their families.
In recent months, the fuel crisis has affected transportation to the school, and the team have had to rearrange a number of classes simply to allow our bus drivers - who collect the children from the camps and bring them into the school in Zahle - enough time to wait in line for petrol.
We will be keeping in touch with our partners in Lebanon and supporting them as necessary.
Could you give a monthly gift to help get children back to school? A gift of £8 a month, for 12 months can help educate a child in a safe space for a whole year.
Regular monthly donations ensure that we can provide reliable support through uncertain times like these.
Children on the Edge has been supporting education for 300 Syrian refugee children since 2015. Initially based in four tent schools, we now have one central building in Zahle. This work is kindly funded by the Players of the People's Postcode Lottery.