New Global Youth Ambassadors in Lebanon are #UpForSchool

A World at School, Children in conflicts, Education in emergencies

Ahmad is 14 years old. He stands on stage speaking to a full room, telling them that when he grows up he wants to be an engineer.

But, he says, one day last year armed men stormed his school, attacking the pupils and teachers. He fled Syria with his family that day. That was the last time he went to school. Now his dreams of becoming an engineer seem very far away.

In the face of this challenge, young people in Lebanon are coming together to campaign for change and take action for each and every child affected by the conflict in Syria.  

They are campaigning for funding to support the government of Lebanon in delivering education to every child in the country.

A new Global Youth Ambassadors scheme has been launched in Lebanon to get every child into school and learning. These youth advocates came together at a rally with more than 200 young people from Lebanon, Syria, Palestine and Iraq.

Young people are #UpForSchool at the rally in Beirut

Speaking in front of representatives from governments, international organisations and the United Nations, they called on world leaders to do more. They asked them not to turn a blind eye to the hundreds of thousands of children forced out of their homes and schools because of war.

These Global Youth Ambassadors are joining a movement of hundreds of young people around the world who are campaigning to get every child into school and learning. They will continue to campaign – backed by a network of millions of individuals, thousands of NGOs and hundreds of businesses – until enough funding is in place to guarantee every child in Lebanon a place in school and a quality education. Together, they are creating a message that no world leader can ignore.

Every day the news brings us more stories of conflict, disaster and tragedy, from Ebola in West Africa to the devastating earthquake in Nepal.

The Syrian conflict has been ongoing for the past four years and, although the death toll continues to rise and thousands of people continue to leave their homes every day in search of safety, the war has fallen from the headlines.

The world seems to have forgotten the tragedy of 7.6 million people displaced from their homes. We are no longer shocked by almost four million people who are registered as refugees in the region.

Students at El Shayah Second Mixed Public School in Beirut

We are becoming apathetic in the face of two million children who are missing out on education because their schools are being bombed or used as shelters.

The challenge in Lebanon is particularly acute. The country is hosting 1.2 million refugees from Syria, almost half of whom are children out of school.

Schooling provides these vulnerable children with a safe space to spend their days and an opportunity to secure a future for themselves and their families. Yet there are simply not enough school places for the number of children now living in Lebanon.

Next week, world leaders will meet in Oslo to discuss funding for education in development. This movement is calling on them to support a Fund and Platform for Education in Emergencies so that we never again see children’s education suffering as a result of conflict.

Add your voice to their call. Sign the #UpForSchool Petition today.

A World at School’s campaigning in Lebanon, and the Global Youth Ambassador Programme, are supported by the People’s Postcode Lottery.

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