Zwei Schulmädchen im Portrait, Kopf an Kopf
© arche noVa

Lebanon: Syrian refugee children receive the basic right to education in Lebanon

The crisis in neighbouring Syria is raging on. Meanwhile approximately 1.5 million Syrian refugees live in Lebanon, a country with only a few more inhabitants than Berlin. Thus more than every fifth inhabitant of the small state is a refugee from Syria. Almost half of the refugees in Lebanon are children, who instead of learning in schools and playing with classmates are left on their own devices.
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School lessons under difficult conditions

Less than 50 percent of the Syrian children are registered in Lebanese schools. Among juveniles the rate is especially low. One reason for this fact lies in the almost totally privatized school system in Lebanon: Many of the often refugee families cannot afford the high expanses who come along with it. The few public schools are hardly able to cover their own demands. The rapid population increase overburdened them completely. Ailing buildings, defect toilets, small classrooms and not enough tables – there is a lack of everything.

Education is an investment in the future

But education is the key to a more just world and investing in education means investing in the future. Therefore arche noVa concentrates on promoting the education in Lebanon, together with our local partner organization “Society for Social Support & Education”. The purpose of our project in the Beqaa district is to enable a free access to education for Syrian girls and boys.

In the beginning of the project we supported more than 1,000 pupils. At the moment we work at two schools in the Beqaa Valley, with 894 Syrian children.

Four hours per day, six days a week the pupils go to school. Classes take place in the afternoon and on Saturdays, because in the morning the school is already used by the existing school community.

School toilets and drinking water fountains for the schools

arche noVa supported the rehabilitation of the schools. We renovated the washrooms for girls and boys in two schools, repaired the drinking water fountains and equipped a school with facilities for disabled children. arche noVa also participates in regular maintenance measures in schools. Of course not only the Syrian but also all school children benefit from the construction measures.

Extensive care for the refugee children

To assist as many Syrian children - who often have been out of school for a long time - as possible for our project, we explain the “new” educational possibilities to the Syrian parents. In meetings and personal conversations we inform about the curriculum, the different school types, the learning concept and the free transport to school.

The children get taught by Lebanese and Syrian teaching staff – also refugees – who before got trained by Lebanese teachers. Beyond that arche noVa provides training opportunities for the involved teaching staff, such as new methodologies.

The attendance of pupils and teachers are recorded daily. It is steadily consistent on a very high level. This can be seen as a huge success, as the children's constant attendance cannot be taken as a matter of course. Syrian children often have to work to participate in the livelihood of the family. For the finish of a school year the students receive a certificate that is legally accepted by schools in both Lebanon and Syria.

Besides the compulsory school subjects, social and extracurricular activities are offered, for example a choir. Additionally the needy schoolchildren are distributed with free teaching material, like books and notebooks.

arche noVa promotes Education for Sustainable Development in Lebanon

In summer 2019 arche noVa organised a three-day workshop for teachers in the Beqaa Valley on interactive methods of Global Education and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). The workshop dealt with the question of how global issues can also be addressed with refugees. Our staff members discussed what spheres of action children and young people can open up for their future in the globalised world, even or especially if they are currently struggling with existential problems.

The aim is to expand the cooperation between our educational work in Germany and the schools in Lebanon. The cooperation is to be continued with another workshop in 2020. In addition, the exchange with teachers, children and young people in Lebanon should also broaden the view of the participants in the arche noVa project days in Germany and give them a more personal approach to the subject of flight and migration.

Donate for this project

Notebook, books, pens for one child for one school year

Project Overview


Establish free access to education for Syrian boys and girls, as well as strengthen the national education system

Target Group

Currently 894 children between 5 and 17 years, as well as local employees in Ghazza school

  • Rehabilitation of schools
  • Implementation of information campaigns for education opportunities of children and adolescents
  • Distribution of school material
  • Equip schools with furniture (cupboards, tables, blackboards etc.)
  • Funding of teacher salariesTraining of Syrian teaching staff to the Lebanese curriculum
  • Elaborate a plan for further education for the teaching staff (diversity of methods, pedagogics etc.)
  • Assisting traumatized children through skilled employees
  • Offering leisure activities (choir, football etc.) through volunteers
Since October 2015
Co-operation partners

Society for Social Support & Education

  • Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development
  • Federal State of Saxony
  • Private donors