Closing the education gap for Syria’s refugee children

Nov. 14, 2019

Syrian friends walking through refugee settlement in Lebanon
More than 630,000 Syrian children now live as refugees in Lebanon - the majority of whom face significant barriers to accessing education. War Child is working with partners to help close this education gap through the Shield project. Watch our latest video to find out more.

Right to learn

Syria’s refugee children continue to endure numerous breaches of their fundamental rights - including their right to learn. In Lebanon more than half of Syrian school-age refugee children are denied access to education - despite a national campaign by the Ministry of Education to enrol these children in special afternoon classes.

Many of these children have missed vital years of schooling - and so lack the minimum literacy and numeracy skills to enter the formal education system. Catch-up learning programmes help to close the gap - supporting children to both eventually return to school and safeguarding their physical and emotional wellbeing.

War Child is working in partnership with local organisations and Plan International in Lebanon to address the urgent needs of children from both Syrian refugee and host communities through a major new project - Shield.

How Shield works

Shield is designed to uphold the safety and fundamental rights of vulnerable boys and girls through an integrated child protection programme that draws on education and psychosocial support activities. Some 9,000 children will directly benefit from the project over the next two years - children like Fadi.

Video: The Shield Project - Fadi

Shield works to ensure that children are better protected from violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect - both now and in the future. Special classes support children to enter formal schools. Psychosocial support activities are held in the heart of communities to maintain the emotional resilience of children taking part. And children with more severe mental health needs are met with targeted services.

Shield is funded by the European Union Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) and is implemented by War Child Holland, the Lebanese Organization for Studies & Training, the Akkar Network for Development and Plan International.