Supporting Syrian refugees in Lebanon
Suha Tutunji is the Academic Director at Jusoor, an NGO of Syrian expats which works to support the country’s development and help Syrian youth reach their full potential. Suha and her team run a number of education projects including a refugee education programme in Lebanon to help out-of-school Syrian children continue learning and transition into the Lebanese school system.
Books you have helped to send are being used by Jusoor to support this programme. We talked to Suha to find out more.
Can you tell us a bit more about Jusoor’s work?
Jusoor believes that youth in Syria should have access to profoundly better opportunities. In particular, we hope for a nation that embraces democracy, respects human rights and the rule of law and encourages free speech and the exchange of ideas. Our work focusses on education to make this possible.
How does the refugee education programme in Lebanon fit into that?
Our refugee education programme seeks to ensure Syrian children in Lebanon have a well-rounded primary education. We focus on Lebanon as it hosts the largest number of Syrian refugee children in the region.
A huge gap in education exists for many Syrian children in Lebanon. In addition to an insufficient number of school places, children face large barriers to accessing education. The Lebanese curriculum is very different from the Syrian curriculum. From year one, classes are taught in French or English but few Syrian parents or children will know these languages.
So our programme provides non-formal education to out-of-school Syrian children to familiarise them with the Lebanese curriculum and learn enough English to enable them to successfully enrol in public schools in Lebanon.
How will the brand new books we have sent help with this work?
Book Aid International has donated children’s books and resource books to support our three education centres and we have also shared them with two other schools in Lebanon. The books will be a great aid.
They will be used by our teachers to aid them in teaching maths and English. They will also help in our anti-bullying campaign as one of the books is about how to tackle that issue. In addition, our teachers will also add to their knowledge by reading the resource books for ideas.
Our students will benefit from reading stories. Having access to these books in English will widen the children’s horizons and they will get a better chance of continuing their education in Lebanon and abroad.