Theirworld has been working in Lebanon to expand access to education through research, projects and campaigning, tackling the impact of the conflict in Syria which has left more than one million refugee children out of school.
Through strong networks including the Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MEHE), United Nations agencies, national and international NGOs and the private sector, Theirworld is ensuring the policies, funding and programmes are in place to allow every child to gain an education and achieve their potential.
In 2013, more than 500,000 school-aged refugee children were living in Lebanon and very few were in school. Theirworld funded a team of experts to work with the government, international agencies and NGOs to develop a solution. The proposal was a “double-shift school” system in Lebanon for Syrian refugees. Theirworld convened a meeting at the United Nations General Assembly with the UN Special Envoy and donor agencies to present the plan, and embarked on a campaign to raise the funding and political will to make it a reality.
Today, the proposal has resulted as a central pillar of the Reaching All Children with Education (RACE) national strategy. Theirworld’s campaigning has contributed to more than 300,000 refugee and vulnerable children receiving an education in Lebanon. Theirworld continues to support today by providing key personnel to support the delivery of the double-shift schools through the Ministry of Education and Higher Education.
This experience led Theirworld to convene a coalition of civil society organisations to campaign for a global fund for education in emergencies. It also resulted in the Education Cannot Wait fund which to date has reached more than 1.3 million children in emergencies.
Theirworld is investing in additional projects to complement the RACE strategy in Lebanon. These pilot projects will demonstrate how small-scale investment in key areas can significantly improve access to education and learning outcomes for vulnerable Lebanese and Syrian refugee children and lead to scalable solutions.
Inclusive Early Childhood Education
Theirworld is currently developing an education programme that can be applied across preparatory early childhood education classes in Lebanon to assess refugee and vulnerable children in the early years for special needs and provides a package of support services, including teacher training and therapy units, to ensure they have the best start and are prepared to enter primary school.
Technology in Classrooms & Code Clubs
The overall quality of education, combined with tensions between refugee and host communities, contributes to poor retention of school students. Theirworld pilot projects have introduced technology hubs to support educational outcomes and intercultural relations in classrooms. We provided digital skills training to 35 public school teaching staff in Lebanon and built the capacity of four technology partners to deliver on digital education.
Theirworld started working with the United Lebanon Youth Project (ULYP) to support girls from vulnerable refugee (Syrian, Lebanese and Palestinian) populations. The first pilot initially targeted 45 girls but due to its success, has expanded and continues to enrol additional cohorts. It aims to to equip young girls from marginalised communities with general skills and coding that they can take with them into the workforce.
Nutrition in Schools
A high number of refugee families and many Lebanese families do not have regular access to nutritious food. This often leads to children being removed from school to go out to work. Many children arrive at school having had nothing to eat. By providing a nutritious snack in schools, children will be healthier and better able to concentrate and learn. Theirworld provided 4,000 Lebanese and Syrian children with a daily portion of healthy food and a daily portion of milk at school as well as 40 teachers with learning tools on the positive impacts of healthy food to educate themselves and their students. You can read the impact report here.
Theirworld's work in Lebanon is made possible with the support of the People's Postcode Lottery who are helping to ensure that every child has a safe school to learn in and the opportunity to reach their potential.
Theirworld’s work in Lebanon is made possible with the support of the People’s Postcode Lottery who are helping ensure that every child has a safe school and the opportunity to reach their potential.