Photo Essay: Hope through Education for Refugees in Lebanon
Education is a fundamental human right, yet it is out of reach for many refugees in Lebanon. According to the UN, half of all Syrian children and about one-third of Palestinian refugee children from Syria are not in school at all. For older youth, aged 16-18, the enrollment rate is even lower: only 17%.
To provide education for refugees in Lebanon, ANERA launched a basic literacy and math program for youth between the ages of 14-24. It’s implemented in partnership with UNICEF, with funds from UK Aid, German Cooperation and KFW. Courses on English, Arabic, and math are taught by carefully trained teachers, and parental support is encouraged through awareness sessions. “The aim is to help youth develop basic competencies that they need in their practical lives,” explains Nisrine Makkouk, ANERA’s education program manager in Lebanon.
In addition to basic literacy and numeracy, students learn useful job skills and attend life skills sessions and other fun activities with their peers.
Getting Acquainted with Computers
“Before this workshop, I didn’t know how to use a computer,” says Walla, a 17 year old from Fnaydeh. “I learned Windows and Office, and now I’m learning PowerPoint.”
Jamil, age 16, learned how to read and write in ANERA-funded workshops. Now he’s learning computer science. “This is the first time I’ve used a computer in my life!”
Mrs. Eman (left) teaches a computer science workshop that starts with the basics and advances to Microsoft Office. She has 22 students between the ages of 14 to 20.
Learning How to Read and Write in Arabic and English
Mona, age 15, attends Arabic, English and health classes. “I only knew the basic stuff before coming to these classes,” she says, “and now I’m intermediate level!”
Mona and Iman, ages 15 and 14, learn how to read and write classical Arabic.
Raed is a 22 year old electrician living in Fnaydeh, Lebanon. He’s taking English classes so he can expand his skillset and have better job opportunities.
Health Classes Teach Vital Information
Students learn about personal and public health in an ANERA-funded health class in Fnaydeh, Lebanon.
Twenty three students aged 15-20 are enrolled in the health class.
So far, the program has enrolled 3,000 refugee teens in classes, and by the end of the year ANERA expects more than 5,000 additional students. Students with good performance are referred to the Accelerated Learning Program, which allows them to catch up with their peers in Lebanese schools. “It’s about offering the opportunity of inclusion to those who have been excluded,” adds Makkouk.
War has stalled the dreams of these young people, but their drive to learn survives.