Non-Formal Education

What Future for Refugee Youth?

As the largest per capita recipient of refugees in the world, Lebanon’s schools and community organizations struggle to cope with the influx of millions of refugees.

More than half of these new refugees in Lebanon are under 18 years old. Both Palestinian and Syrian refugee children drop out of school at an alarming rate. Now, a young generation of refugees may never get the chance to go to formal school at all.

Refugee camps in Lebanon lack safe spaces for learning, training and recreation, and many kids can’t afford the cost of transportation to schools and training centers outside the camps. Older students often feel the need to earn income to support their families, especially given that job opportunities are severely limited for Palestinians in Lebanon, despite academic achievement.

Meanwhile, Syrian youths have missed several years of school, and find themselves unable to adjust to a new curriculum. Overall, the lack of resources creates a culture of competition that causes tension among Lebanese, Palestinian and Syrian communities, exacerbating the situation.

Pathways to a Better Future

There is a future for refugee youth in Lebanon. Anera’s non-formal education program focuses on bridging the gaps in education for Lebanon’s most vulnerable population. We also emphasize the social and emotional well-being of teens who have experienced trauma or have no respite from tough refugee camp life.

Flexible classes located inside or adjacent to camps and tent settlements provide youth with basic Arabic, English and math training at a variety of levels. Through the refugee education courses, some students are directed to an Accelerated Learning Program or to formal education in Lebanese schools. Other students develop these competencies to keep up with their peers or to enter the job market.

6,922 youth enrolled in Anera’s basic literacy and math courses across Lebanon in 2016.

Anera also offers life and health skills courses, ranging from embroidery and soapmaking to conflict management and hygiene promotion. Similarly, academic classes are usually complemented with sports tournaments and athletic courses that incentivize kids to get involved. Through these opportunities, youths connect with their peers and engage in activities that will improve their confidence and sense of self-worth.

Our Approach to Refugee Education

  • Training Leaders

    We train teachers and community leaders to sustain our programs. 

  • Community Involvement

    We engage the greater community in campaigns to promote education.

  • Accessible Education

    Accessibility matters: we do our best to accommodate all learners.

  • Safe Spaces

    Anera creates safe spaces for learning and socializing near refugee camps and tented settlements.

  • Gender Inclusivity

    Gender inclusion and cultural sensitivity are considered every step of the way. 

  • Flexible Classes

    Our short, flexible classes meet students where they are, to provide them with the skills they need.

16-year-old Sami from Aleppo dreamed of being a doctor, but when he became a refugee his life changed drastically. Now, he's finding hope again...

"Before this workshop, I didn't know how to use a computer. I've learned Windows and Office and now I'm learning PowerPoint, too."

– Walla, 17, Fnaydeh Lebanon