“I want you to be persons of the highest category. You must always think of the goal. Always look to your ideal. By spiritual ideation you can get inspiration to adhere to your principles.”
On September 19th, 2015 we started our Community School for Syrian Refugees in Upper Chouf – Mount Lebanon, Lebanon. Within one month, and through outreaching the remoted villages in the Upper Chouf, we got more than 100 children living in a bad situation far away from all kinds of minimum standards of living. The best choice for these kids was working in a gas station for boys or waiting any suggested groom for 12- years- old girls. The few public schools in the area were full due to certain regulations from the Ministry of Education. AMURT’s Community School came at the right time to save these children.
The Community School consists of two classes for teaching a Basic Literacy and Numeracy program BLN (61 children), two KG3 classes (67 children) and three sections of grade 1 (88 children) registered in the Lebanese Ministry of Education and High education (MEHE) and will get a certificate at the end of the scholar year. Most of these 216 students will be registered next year in public schools.
Teachers are well educated and are receiving trainings from Didi Anandarama in Yoga for children and Neo-humanism Education, and other educational trainings.
Recently, Ole Brekke gave AMURT’s staff a 10 hours’ workshop on Theatre in Education (TIE).
The goal of our Community School is to find the best place for these traumatized Syrian children, who were suffering a lot in the war, to take psycho-social support and good education at the same time. These 216 children had no chance to enter any public school this year so AMURT protected them from early marriage (girls aged eleven and twelve years old), child Labor, physical and verbal abuse and many other problems they may face in society and provided for them a clean environment to grow and perform.
This photo shows the motivating certificates children received after passing a dictation competition of 50 words in Arabic and English Language. Knowing that, many of these children had been out of school for two to three years.
Moreover, the dignity of these children and their rights of being equal with any Lebanese child made us work so hard and with Baba’s will our students could have the access of visiting the National Library in Chouf ( Youth and Children Library) where they can borrow any book or story for free.
Also, we had a special day prepared for our children where they listened to a story about protecting trees from the principal of the Youth and Children Library, Madam May Okalii, and then the children expressed their feelings through their drawings. After the visit, the principal and the workers in the library were surprised of the smartness, politeness and very good behavior of our students.
In addition to that, we recently had a performance party for our students where 40 children graduated from the BLN program. They are still in the school either in KG3 or Grade one (the high achievers).
Also, the children prepared their Mother’s gifts from recycled materials. Here are some photos of their lovely exhibition.