ASIA/LEBANON - The Jesuit Refugee Service: it is urgent to address the "educational emergency" of Syrian children

Tuesday, 5 January 2016 refugees  

Jesuit Refugee Service

Jbeil (Agenzia Fides) - Approximately 2.8 million Syrian children are out of school as a result of the war, 550,000 of whom are in Lebanon. The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) center in Jbeil serves nearly 500 Syrian refugee children, including providing psychosocial support to children through Peace Education classes. An experience that allows you to see the "educational emergency" that must be addressed urgently, so as not to jeopardize the future generations of young Syrians.
The report of the activities of the center in Jbeil, released by JRS, shows that all of the children at the centre have been touched by war, with mortars and bombs a daily risk. Some children have experienced violence in the home, and most currently live in unsuitable or overcrowded homes. For most of the children, the traumatic experience has negative consequences in terms of behavior, starting with the inability to stay in the class. A condition that must be addressed with patience, bearing in mind - emphasizes Majed Mardini, a Syrian teacher at the JRS Jbeil centre, that Syrian children "need more than a traditional education". All of the teachers play a double role as social worker. "Many of the children" refers Mardini "do not know how to be in school. We teach children how to behave, how to interact with others, but most importantly, how to love one another". Only this kind of daily work and patience allows to obtain satisfying results, and to record an actual improvement in behavior and learning ability of children. Many of them – say the operators - recognize school as the only place where they can be happy, and do not want to stop going to school during the holiday, which for many is a time of sadness and neglect. Yet whether they decide to return to Syria or not, "education", says Mardini "is the only way to build a future for these children". (GV) (Agenzia Fides 05/01/2016)