view all campaigns

Campaign Stories
  Acting on Pope Francis' call for inter-religious cooperation in the Middle East
  Dialogue is the Solution in Syria, not War
  Displaced by conflict in Syria, refugee helps others
  Examining the role of women from a humanitarian perspective in response to the conflict in Syria
  Families flee Syria to protect their children
  In Syria conflict, persecution affects Muslims and Christians
  Jesuit priest: people of Homs hunger for normality
  Jesuit Refugee Service stands with Syria
  Jesuit Refugee Service Syria staff stand together in serving the displaced
  Jordan: accompaniment comes first for refugees
  Jordan: eat dust here or die in Syria
  Jordan: living in the shadow of Syria's crisis
  JRS in Iraq as winter imperils displaced families
  JRS Jordan director visits U.S. universities, parishes
  JRS urges Australia, U.S. to increase humanitarian intake
  Lebanon: educational boost for refugee children
  Lebanon: families from Syria seek safety, shelter
  Lebanon: JRS offers hope through education
  Lebanon: space for refugees from Syria to learn
  Lebanon: Syrian children need more than a traditional education
  Lebanon: Syrian refugee children counting on school
  Middle East: updates from JRS
  Pope urges concrete help for refugees
  Syria: between fear of violence and the struggle to survive
  Syria: bringing families together
  Syria: daily life a struggle to survive
  Syria: amidst upheaval, JRS expands services
  Syria: enduring spirit remains despite the rubble
  Syria: five years on, time for diplomacy to deliver
  Syria: food & fuel shortages add to daily woes
  Syria: interfaith family volunteers in Aleppo
  Syria: JRS refugee center destroyed, our work continues
  Syria: let this fourth anniversary of the war be the last
  Syria: maintaining normalcy in Aleppo
  Syria: Refugees from Iraq on the sidelines of yet another conflict
  Syria: shelter and food difficult to find
  Syria: thousands more displaced by violence in Aleppo
  Syria: turning pain into their most powerful weapon
  Syria: urgent need for winter supplies
  Syria: violence in Damascus fuels hopelessness, fear
  Syria: why people flee and why they need protection
  Syrian refugees face food cuts in Jordan, Lebanon
  Water is a precious gift in Syria
  Witnessing the hope and resilience of Syrians
Connect with us
More than 550,000 Syrian children in Lebanon are out of school. (Jacquelyn Pavilon — Jesuit Refugee Service)

(Jbeil, Lebanon) October 25, 2015 — Even before the Syrian war started, Lebanon was amongst the most densely populated countries in the world. Since 2011, nearly between 1.5 and 2 million Syrians have fled to Lebanon. More than 25% of the population in Lebanon is now Syrian; hence, schools are overcrowded and waiting lists are long. Many refugee children find themselves out of school two to three years. 

Syrian children face a variety of barriers trying to enter into the Lebanese public school system. Language barriers, entrance exams, lack of transport costs and xenophobia by public school teachers and other students make access to school more than difficult. 

The Jesuit Refugee Service center in Jbeil, Lebanon, helps Syrians by providing language catch-up classes, psychosocial counselling and other services to refugee children and their families. After living through the trauma of war, most of the children need more than a traditional education. The children's before-and-after drawings show, in their eyes, what life was like before displacement, during the war in Syria, and after they fled to Lebanon and enrolled in the JRS programs.

Lebanon: before and after displacement, through a Syrian child’s eyes
More than 550,000 Syrian children in Lebanon are out of school.

Lebanon: before and after displacement, through a Syrian child’s eyes
The JRS Jbeil center serves 500 Syrian children – 250 in the morning shift and 250 in the afternoon shift.

Lebanon: before and after displacement, through a Syrian child’s eyes
In Syria, where mortars and bombings were a daily risk, many children could not leave their houses.

Lebanon: before and after displacement, through a Syrian child's eyes
"I would say goodbye to my mom before I left to go to teach each day," Syrian refugee and English teacher at the JRS Jbeil centre recalls of life in Aleppo before she fled. "They just shoot, not thinking people are actually walking there. You leave your house never knowing if you're coming back."

Lebanon: before and after displacement, through a Syrian child’s eyes
Many children in Syria could found themselves stuck at home. The could not attend school after the military or rebels occupied their schools.

Lebanon: before and after displacement, through a Syrian child’s eyes
As access to school is hindered by long waiting lists, language barriers and xenophobia by public school teachers, many children go to work. One family's mother served by JRS says her two boys, ages 11 and 12, work at the local grocery story for $100 and $150 a month respectively. JRS works to help children transition into the Lebanese public school system.

Lebanon: before and after displacement, through a Syrian child’s eyes
"These children have been traumatized and need more than a traditional education," says Majed Mardini, a teacher at the JRS Jbeil center. "All of us play a double role as social worker to provide support for the children, to teach them how to behave, how to interact, how to like each other."

Lebanon: before and after displacement, through a Syrian child’s eyes
"Many of the children have been out of school so long, they don't know how to be in school," says Majed Mardini, a teacher at the JRS Jbeil center. "When they re-enrol, they are basically starting from scratch. Thus, teaching morals and conduct is key."

Lebanon: before and after displacement, through a Syrian child’s eyes
The JRS Jbeil center provides the children a sense of normalcy. They are able to form a community after losing so much.

Lebanon: before and after displacement, through a Syrian child’s eyes
The JRS Jbeil center offers different psychosocial programming, such as interactive puppet shows, in which the children can act out their experiences. JRS also offers workshops for parents on how to treat their children at home and how to help them deal with trauma.

Lebanon: before and after displacement, through a Syrian child’s eyes
"They children used to fight when they played. It was all they knew," said English teacher, Catherine Mora. "But after two sessions at the JRS center, they have improved immensely. They now play with each other. Sometimes I see them playing 'English class' at recess where one pretends to be the student and the other plays me as the English teacher."

Lebanon: before and after displacement, through a Syrian child’s eyes
The Jbeil center serves an equal number of male and female students and has 24 teachers, both Syrian and Lebanese, who work together and serve as positive examples of successful integration into a new host community.

— Photos and article by Jacquelyn Pavilon, Acting International Communications Coordinator


Countries Related to this Region
Canada, United States of America