Hundreds of thousands of refugee children from Syria are waiting in Lebanon and Jordan for peace to be restored so that they can return home. Being able to go to school is also a dream for many of them. This has recently changed. Last September, the first educational centre of the Back to the Future project was officially opened in Lebanon: the Khenchara ‘BTF’ Educational Centre. The children are so excited that they secretly prefer being in school rather than being at home. Ahmad (16) is one of the fortunate children who receive education in the centre.
A social worker discovered that Ahmad had not been to school for six years. He lagged behind in Arabic literacy skills and his knowledge of French was insufficient to take classes at the local school. He has now gone back to school. Every day a bus picks him up. His parents don’t have to worry about money for meals, as lunch is included. In addition to practical skills, Ahmad is taught numeracy and literacy skills as well as the basics of administration. Ahmad has a viable future again.
Becoming a carpenter
‘Once I have finished my education, I want to become a carpenter, just like my father.’ Besides studying, there is also time for recreational activities with the other children. Drama, art and sports activities are part of the offerings. On a regular basis Ahmad plays football with his new friends in the centre. His enthusiasm and eagerness to learn make him a perfect example for his fellow students, according to the centre’s supervisor.
Education for 200 children
200 children receive education in the Khenchara Educational Centre on a daily basis. It is one of the 19 educational centres that have been opened in Lebanon in the past period. As local schools often provide education in French, Syrian refugee children encounter difficulties in taking classes. Following an often desperate attempt, they can still not latch on. In the new centres, classes are given in Arabic and the children are prepared for further education in Lebanon by teaching them French.
‘Back to the Future’
The project Back to the Future is a consortium between Terre des Hommes, War Child and AVSI, with financial assistance from the EU Madad Fund. The project enables almost 19,000 refugee children in Lebanon and Jordan to go back to school.
Now let’s save the others…
Children who are vulnerable to exploitation need protection and assistance. Together with partner organisations and our donors we arrange for shelter, care and education. Ahmad received assistance and can go back to school. Now let’s save the others. Will you help us?