A third grant was awarded to Children on the Edge earlier this year, helping to provide safe spaces and quality education for children forcibly displaced by conflict in Lebanon and Uganda.
Syria and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) suffer from two of the deadliest humanitarian crises in the world, which have forced millions to flee their homes. Lebanon is now host to 1.5 million Syrian refugees and Uganda is host to 460,000 refugees from the DRC. After almost 11 years of fighting in Syria, and 24 in Eastern DRC, donors and the media have tired of the refugees affected by these seemingly endless conflicts.
In 2020, the Postcode Global Trust donated to our programme in Lebanon, providing education for around 200 Syrian refugee children. Syrian refugees here face increasing hostility and pressure to leave, and are considered an untenable burden by many Lebanese. The majority of refugee children have no access to formal education as Lebanese schools simply cannot absorb them.
Children on the Edge has worked in collaboration with our local partner Triumphant Mercy (TM) since 2014. Together we provide high quality, holistic education in a bright, colourful, purpose built school in Zahle for nearly 200 Syrian children from refugee camps in Bekaa Valley who are unable to access state school.
As the pandemic, economic and political crisis, and the explosion in Beirut caused widespread poverty and hardship for both the refugee community and hundreds of struggling Lebanese families, the funding provided by the People's Postcode Lottery proved to be absolutely crucial in enabling us to respond with humanitarian aid and find creative ways to support learning at home so that the children could continue to access education.
In 2021, we were delighted when funding was awarded by the players of People's Postcode Lottery for a second year, and this time, extended to cover our work with Congolese refugee children in Uganda. Here, we are supporting 30 communities in the Kyaka II refugee settlement to provide early years education to over 8500 of their youngest children.
Once again, this funding proved vital in ensuring the youngest refugee children we support in Uganda were able to continue learning through the longest school lockdown closure in the world. Whilst schools were closed until January 2022 (nearly two years), funding from the players of People's Postcode Lottery allowed us to develop an award winning 'Cluster Learning' model which enabled children to learn outside, in communal spaces, with trained refugee teachers.
The model has been so successful that it won a Theirworld Innovation Award in September 2021, and is now being used to reach even more children Kyaka II settlement. As the classrooms we support are oversubscribed and the numbers of young children who need early years support is so high, the Cluster Learning model is helping us to ensure that thousands more children can access education.
The Congolese children we support have witnessed horrific violence, lost their homes, friends and family members, and experienced huge upheaval. In Uganda, we are the only provider of quality early years education for the Congolese refugee children living in Kyaka II camp. Without this work, supported by players’ funding, some of the most vulnerable 3-6 years olds on the planet would be missing vital support during the most important stages of their development.
In Lebanon, as funding from the People's Postcode Lottery goes into a third year, it has enabled our programme to continue to have far-reaching positive impacts on the lives of the children, their families, teachers and the teachers’ families. The school gives the children hope for the future and shows them they can achieve something outside the confines of the camps. The children tell us they want to be doctors, teachers, footballers, and even interior designers! The children express how much they enjoy school and love their teachers. 100% of the children like school.
Sophie Poore, Children on the Edge Grants Manager said:
"The players of People's Postcode Lottery are helping the refugee children and communities we work with in Lebanon and Uganda to thrive. These are children who would otherwise be overlooked and forgotten, but thanks to Postcode funding, are able to learn and play in safe places. Here, they can be themselves, have fun and truly shine. We have seen just how much difference has been made over the past two years, and are so grateful to have been awarded a third grant to continue making a difference to the lives of refugee children and their communities".
If you play the People's Postcode Lottery, you are making a big difference, thank you!