More than three million Syrian children are absent from the classroom as the civil war takes its toll on youngsters, leaving them unable to go to school. A fifth of the schools in Syria have been bombed, damaged, or transformed into shelters and military barracks. This reality extends to those children who had to leave their homes as long as four years ago and flee to nearby countries like Lebanon, where at least 300,000 Syrian children are out of school. In the refugee camp of Marjayoun, in southern Lebanon, 210 children were unable to go to school because the nearest one is seven kilometers away and transportation to reach the school is inaccessible. The solution? Bring the school to the refugee children: a portable classroom.
In partnership with Progetto Arca, AVSI Foundation has built a portable school where 70 children have already been able to resume their studies. Monday to Thursday, inside the tents equipped with desks and blackboards, children learn how to read, write and count in both Arabic and English. Through recreational activities, based on team play exercises, children also learn important values like solidarity and respect towards others. Progetto Arca and AVSI have joined forces since the early days of the Syrian crisis and have been working together to bring support to families and children, in particular the most vulnerable refugees in Lebanon and Jordan.
Three days a week, teachers discuss with older children and parents themes like child labor and early marriage, practices still very common in refugee camps. Through games, they also raise awareness on health and hygiene standards.
Soon, the distances between refugee camps and school will be even shorter. Thanks to Progetto Arca, it will be possible to buy a school bus that can transport teachers and teaching materials to other affected areas. With the bus, more children will be able to continue learning and what was so far only a dream can now come true: children living a normal life and being kids.
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