Kindergarten for Syrian children in Lebanon
There are over 1 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon. Amongst this number are nearly 400,000 children which has placed a large burden on Lebanese state schools.
Only an estimated 30% of the Syrian refugee school-aged children are receiving an education. In addition to barriers to access and other challenges, a significant obstacle to integration is language: Syrian schools are taught in Arabic, while Lebanese public schools incorporate both French and English.
Therefore, it is essential to prepare Syrian children for entry into the Lebanese school system. REI supported a kindergarten for 100 students in Wadi Zayne in the south of Lebanon this past year. This funding has clearly provided the children with an important education while also addressing their psycho-social needs.
The project provides classes for children from 4 to 6 years old. They learn numbers, play team games, do art work amongst other activities. The team games are particularly important for children who have either experienced trauma or live with insecurity because they encourage teamwork, self-discipline, trust and sharing.
The teachers are all refugees from Syria so the kindergarten provides them with a livelihood and a rare opportunity to use their professional skills.
The funding covers teachers’ salaries, stationary, books, uniforms and teaching materials. The teachers are incredibly resourceful and often use simple materials such as paper cups and plates, objects we tend to take for granted, to make animals, sea creatures and even snowmen!