Dreams Defying Challenges

September 2023

Mazen is a 12-year-old boy living in Ghazzeh, Bekaa with his 5 siblings. His family embarked on a journey from Syria to Lebanon in search of a better life when Mazen was still an infant. However, life in Lebanon presents its own challenges. Due to the indigent living conditions, Mazen works three days a week in a grapevine, from 5 to 11 a.m., to support his family.

Mazen never attended school before. His parents discovered the “Back to the Future” project through a relative. In the Basic Literacy and Numeracy class, the boy faced challenges in his motor skills due to his shaky hand. However, Mazen’s unwavering commitment and dedication shined bright as he was able to achieve remarkable progress.

School is Mazen’s favorite place now, where he relishes the fun and enjoys learning with his friends. He even sometimes convinces his parents to allow him to skip work to attend school more often.

“I do not like to work. It is hard and exhausting – Mazen declares – I prefer school to work: it is more fun, and I like to learn and play with my classmates, the teachers are nice, and here I feel safer. But I must continue to work because my parents need my support to survive”.

His favorite subject is English. Driven by the dream of traveling the world, he stated: “I want to learn English well so that, one day, I might have the chance to travel and visit other countries around the world. When I grow up, I would like to become an architect, to draw houses and construct new schools to help other families in need’’. 

Despite the numerous challenges, Mazen’s willingness to learn and build a brighter future stands as a remarkable example of a strong determination to pursue education.

The educational and inclusion support were provided to Mazen under the ”Back to the Future IV” project implemented by AVSI Middle East, and Terre des hommes Italy in Lebanon and Funded by EU Civil Protection & Humanitarian Aid.