Back To The Future

A major education initiative for children affected by the crisis in Syria.

On the run

Some 2.5 million Syrian children have been forced to flee their homes following eight years of civil war. Many of these children now live as refugees in Lebanon and Jordan - waiting for peace to return to their homeland. Refugee camps are the places they now call home. The threat of exploitation - such as child trafficking or child labour - is real.

Building a better future

These children are typically also denied their fundamental right to an education. War Child has joined a consortium with other leading NGOs to address this issue. The ‘Back to the Future’ project is designed to meet the educational needs of Syrian refugee children and help them build a better future - both for themselves and their communities.

Enter our refugee classroom in Jordan

An entire generation out of school

Nearly half a million Syrian refugee children in Lebanon - and a further 240,000 in Jordan - are aged between three and 18. Nearly two-thirds - some 60 per cent - of these children are out of school. An entire generation is growing up with little hope of seeing a better future.

Tackling the problem

Education is a vital tool to tackle these feelings of hopelessness - and support the healthy development of children affected by violence and armed conflict. Four child rights organisations have come together to ensure Syrian refugee children in Lebanon and Jordan can access education and vital psychosocial support.

The ‘Back to the Future’ project sees AVSI, Terre des Hommes Italy, Terre des Hommes Netherlands and War Child Holland - with the support of the European Union EU Madad Fund – address the needs of these children.

Syrian, Jordanian and Lebanese children

‘Back to the Future’ will run from 2017 to 2019 and will enable more than 21,000 (21,722) Syrian, Jordanian and Lebanese children to go back to school. The aim of the project is to alleviate the impact of the Syrian crisis on the most vulnerable refugee children and their families, as well as host communities in Lebanon and Jordan.

“I love going to school. We study here, we learn, we read, we write. We can do everything here!"
Manal (9) from Syria, now living in Jordan.
Lebanon boys Back to The Future War Child

Going back to school in Lebanon

Photo: War Child

Lebanon girls in school War Child

Some 45 per cent of the participants in this project are girls

Photo: War Child

How many children do we reach?

The first year of Back to the Future saw the project consortium open 19 education centres across Lebanon. In 2018, some 16,583 children enrolled in the learning opportunities - including basic literacy and numeracy, early childhood education and foreign language support. A further 7,154 children have accessed learning support programmes, by attending foreign language classes and receiving help with their homework. Some 45 per cent of the participants are girls. In total 18,835 children across Lebanon and Jordan participated in the programme during 2018.

This is one of our most important projects - because going back to school means going ‘back to the future’.

Going back to school means going ‘back to the future’

Key activities

The key activities of ‘Back to the Future’ include:

  • Basic education
  • Early childhood development programmes
  • Basic literacy and numeracy modules - many participating children have learning disabilities because they have missed one or more years of schooling
  • Learning and homework support
  • Psychosocial support activities for children, adolescents and their caregivers
  • Repair and renovation of school facilities

The project will see 22 school facilities renovated (fourteen in Jordan and eight in Lebanon) to support learning activities. Another important element of the project is the provision of transport to the project locations – which will allow increasing numbers of children to take part.

In Lebanon the Consortium works through a comprehensive, flexible and responsive approach built around RACE II (Reaching All Children with Education Initiative) and the Lebanon Crisis Response Plan (LCRP) to support formal and non-formal activities for preschool and school-aged boys and girls.

Our project partners:

AVSI partner War Child


AVSI, created in 1972, is a non-profit organization which carries out development cooperation and humanitarian aid projects throughout the world.

Go to website 
Terre Des Hommes Italië

Terre des Hommes Italië

Terre des Hommes protect the rights of children in developing countries, without racial, religious, political, cultural or gender-based discrimination.

Go to website 
TerreDesHommes partner War Child

Terre des Hommes Nederland

Terre des Hommes protect the rights of children in developing countries, without racial, religious, political, cultural or gender-based discrimination.

Go to website 

Back to the Future is funded by:

the Elma relief foundation

The Elma Relief Foundation

Invests in relief efforts anywhere in the world, with an emphasis on children in Africa.

Go to website 
Madad partner War Child

EU Regional Madad Trust Fund

In response to the Syrian Crisis, the Trust Fund supports up to 2 million Syrian refugees and their host communities in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and the Western Balkans.

Go to website