The stories of Syrian refugees are stories of shattered dreams and broken lives. High school students forced to flee the conflict in Syria left behind their dreams of higher education. Young children pulled out of Syrian schools will struggle to read, write, and do basic math because of the interruption. Some of these children have missed more than three years of school because of the conflict.
Over a million refugees live in Lebanon, many of them school-age children. Lebanese schools are already overcrowded with these children, yet thousands more need education.
Many refugee parents fled the civil war in Syria with their children and whatever they could carry. They settled in camps and had to buy food, clothes, heating supplies, and anything else they needed. CAM’s Food-Parcels-For-Syrian-Refugees program and other humanitarian programs have brought some relief to refugees, but their lives are still difficult. Any money they have saved or can earn must be used for life essentials. In such situations, schooling is hardly a priority.
Even if parents do have funds to send their children in school, other challenges remain. Children must share desks and supplies in crowded schools. Refugee children face resentment from Lebanese students who feel they are infringing on their space. Language is also a major issue. In Syria, teaching is only in Arabic, while in Lebanon, classes are often taught in English or French.
The Sponsor-A-Refugee-Child program is focused on paying school fees and buying school supplies so that underprivileged students in Lebanon can receive a Christian education. Donors who choose to sponsor a student for one year receive a picture and brief information about the child they sponsor.
CAM contacts in Lebanon are currently outfitting tents to be used as temporary classrooms and adding space to schools already in use. These efforts are steps toward providing opportunities for Syrian refugee children to learn.
With God’s blessing and your generosity, we can put dreams back together again, one child at a time.