Anera Donates Computer Education Tools for School Damaged in 2020 Port Explosion
It’s been two years since a massive explosion destroyed much of Beirut’s port and the surrounding neighborhood. The Rosary Sisters Hospital was no exception. Neither was its school. The private, nonprofit hospital is located just a few hundred meters from the blast site.
Anera has long supported the hospital and school. Since the blast, Anera provided additional supplies to help the hospital and the school continue to function, including personal hygiene material for students after a COVID-19 lockdown.
More recently, Anera donated learning materials and school supplies, including electronic tablets and laptops preloaded with engaging content from the educational non-profit Thaki, which means 'smart' in Arabic. The Amsterdam-based non-profit organization provided the laptops to students who lost their laptops in the blast or who could not afford to buy one. The school is also using the donated equipment for a computer science classroom.
Thaki founder Rudayna Abdo explains that digitally-enabled learning has accelerated across the globe in the last couple of years due to the pandemic.
“The importance of digital literacy and e-learning have become all the more critical at times of economic crisis because students can continue their learning journey despite school disruptions.”
Thaki’s mission, according to Rudayna, is simple: “Education is a human right and so is digital literacy.”
Thaki has made it possible for Anera to distribute hundreds of laptops throughout Lebanon since 2018. The first project was in Shatila Palestinian Refugee Camp. Our partnership strengthened during COVID, as students were forced to work from home, and again right after the Beirut blast, when students lost their homes and schools.
Sister Elianne is head of the Rosary Monastery and principal of the school. She says the very presence of her school benefits Beirut’s economically marginalized Christian community. But Lebanon’s continuing crisis has affected the school. Most of the students are no longer able to pay the low fees and the reductions in revenue make it harder for the school to repair all the damage from the 2020 explosion. “The school would not have returned and continued with its mission without the help of Lebanon’s civil society and organizations like Anera.”
“The school would not have returned and continued with its mission without the help of Lebanon’s civil society and organizations like Anera.”
Eleven-year-old Charbel is in the sixth grade. He was excited about returning to school and no longer having to study remotely. “It is hard to concentrate at home with electricity going off all the time and the internet dropping.” He added, “It was annoying and I missed my friends.”
Now he says he loves working on the computer, “I love the applications on my laptop because there are games that are fun and I learn from.” He describes the new computer classroom as “awesome.”
Anera has long been invested in educational programs in Lebanon. Providing educational materials for schools to operate during the country’s multiple crises is a priority for Anera as a way to give students a safe, productive learning space and hope for the future. Quality education today relies on the power of digital learning and Anera makes sure it is an integral part of our assistance to the communities we serve in Lebanon.