Let’s get Syrian kids back to school

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More than a quarter of a million Syrian refugee children in Lebanon can’t attend school.

Let’s change that.

One in every five people currently in Lebanon is a Syrian refugee.

Lebanon hosts the largest percentage of refugees in the world given its population, with more than one million Syrian refugees registered in a country of just 4.5 million citizens. All these people living in an area less than a quarter of the size of Tasmania.

More than half the refugees are children, and 48% of them aged 6-14 are out of school. That’s 250,000 kids.

Fleeing persecution

The influx of new arrivals fleeing the conflict and persecution by Daesh (or ‘ISIS’) militants, has put an enormous strain on church and government services, particularly educational institutions. In response, the government of Lebanon has restricted Syrian children’s access to state schools, making the role of the church schools more important than ever.

Churches taking action in Lebanon

Christian churches in Lebanon have established extensive humanitarian and refugee support programs, and their schools are providing education for children from refugee and displaced families regardless of race, nationality or religion. But their services are increasingly stretched by the high number of refugees now in Lebanon.

UnitingWorld’s response

Working through ACT Alliance members in the region, including the Middle East Council of Churches, and local churches in Lebanon, UnitingWorld will support churches as they meet the needs of those within their communities, focusing on training teachers and educating refugee children.

Church-run schools in Lebanon are educating a large proportion of non-Christian students and they’re committed to teaching a broad curriculum that is accessible and appropriate for children of all faiths. Many of the schools are offering low cost education to refugee children if they have the funding to do so.

No child left behind

Our church partners in the region want all children in Lebanon to be able to access quality education regardless of race, religion or nationality.

“Our schools cater for students of all backgrounds and religions.” – Rev Joseph Kassab, General Secretary of the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon.

“We don’t seek to convert them, but to love them and educate them. Students come to our schools because they receive a good education. But much more than that, students learn to live together in respectful, tolerant and harmonious relationships. They learn to live in communities, diverse but united. That’s what Syria needs, and what the world needs – people who seek to live together respectfully, tolerant of difference.”

A child with an education is a child with a future. Education is critical to development, flowing into all aspects of life. Letting Syrian children fall behind would increase the likelihood that they fall into the cycle of poverty and exploitation, especially for girls.

Your donation will directly support our partners to respond to the needs of Syrian refugees, providing education for more children and training more teachers.

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