IMPACT: 2021-22 LEBANON SCHOOLS EMERGENCY FUND
Six schools (Beirut area)
1,200 pupils receiving emergency assistance with fees
70% Syrian children assisted at one school; 15% overall
Project runs September 2021-June 2022
Children across Lebanon are bearing the cumulative weight of a succession of crises that have hit the country, resulting in one of the world’s worst economic collapses in recent history. According to reports, more than half the population in Lebanon is now living below the poverty line, and with the situation not showing any signs of resolution, there is a very high risk that even more families will be unable to cover their basic needs, let alone their children’s school fees. At present, 400,000 students are at the risk of not being able to continue their studies in their schools.
Our conversations with several schools in Beirut over the past year, pushed the urgency of relief for struggling Lebanese families to the forefront of our work. They reported having an increasing number of families asking for help and fearing that the lack of support will force parents to make very difficult choices regarding the education of their children. On top of easing the burden of the economic situation, allowing children to remain in a familiar, safe space when the rest of their lives are so uncertain, and providing then with an education to build a better future fall exactly within what AMF always aims to achieve.
The past months have shown that, while a useful stopgap, remote learning is not a sustainable educational solution due to its detrimental impact on learning attainment, family stress, and mental health. However, the reopening of schools has been made nearly impossible by factors such as a lack of funds for teaching and administrative salaries, the unavailability of supplies and lack of continuous electricity. This initiative will help parents to educate their children, teachers to continue working, and schools to remain open.
For this campaign, AMF has chosen to focus on areas in Beirut and its suburbs. These areas are inhabited mostly by poor to middle income families, which we know are facing a proportionately higher pressure on their ability to meet their day-to-day needs. With as little as £75 to cover a full academic year, one student can be saved from dropping out, and parents can breathe in relief that at least for this year their child is still in school.