Back To The Future
Reclaiming the right to learn
Syria's civil war is now entering its eleventh year - and some 2.5 million Syrian children have been forced to find refuge outside the country's borders. These children live with their families in camps and settlements - and are exposed to a number of threats to their safety. The threat of exploitation - such as child trafficking or child labour - is real.
These children are also frequently denied their fundamental right to an education. War Child has joined a consortium with other leading NGOs to address this issue - through the Back to the Future project.
A generation under threat
Back to the Future responds to the educational needs of these children - and supports them to become the drivers of a brighter future for Syria and the region.
Lebanon is home to more than 630,000 Syrian refugee children. Jordan hosts more than 327,000 such children. Across both countries more than 60 per cent of Syrian refugee children are out of school. And more than 447,000 vulnerable children from Lebanese host communities are in need of educational assistance.
An entire generation is growing up with little hope of a better future - and support for education is urgently required.
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 Italy and War Child Holland - with the support of the European Union EU Madad Fund - address the needs of these children.
Activities during the first phase of the project (December 2016 - June 2019) promoted enrolment and improved retention in formal education, for children from both refugee and host communities. Work to upgrade school buildings and support both formal and non-formal learning activities was also undertaken.
Future activities during phase two will contribute towards guaranteeing a protective learning environment for both girls and boys in Lebanon. Activities are also designed to ensure that vulnerable girls and boys from marginalised communities enjoy access to integrated quality basic education and protection.
Going back to school in Lebanon
Photo: 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 three years of the project saw participating organisations provide education support for 21,700 vulnerable children from refugee and host communities. This first phase also saw renovation work in 22 public schools across Lebanon and Jordan.
In Lebanon 19,022 children were enrolled in educational activities – 10,915 children were signed up for non-formal education activities and 8,107 children benefitted from learning support programmes. In addition, 6,412 children were referred to (re)enter formal education. In total 57,363 members of the community were reached and informed about non-formal and formal education opportunities.
In Jordan 2,700 children were enrolled in our educational and non-formal education activities. The period also saw 44 teachers and education practitioners receive specialised training.
The next phase
Project activities to June 2021 will be designed to establish a protective and nurturing environment to increase access to schooling - while promoting inclusion and retention - for children from all communities affected by the Syrian civil war.
In Lebanon 16,955 children will be directly enrolled in educational activities - and 12,200 students will indirectly benefit through efforts to upgrade schools and learning centres. Community engagement will also be strengthened through efforts to reach 4,235 caregivers on matters such as educational activities and child protection.