Reaching Thousands of Children through Education: Terre des Hommes Italy’ Work in Lebanon



  • Terre des Hommes Italy

  • April 23, 2021

“Our main concern after witnessing the devastating impact of these multiple crises on the population was to ensure access to quality educational opportunities for all children, especially for those who continue to be disproportionately affected due to their pre-existing vulnerabilities”, explains Leane Gaumond, Education Program Manager at Terre des Hommes Italy.

 

Reaching thousands of children through Education and Child Protection activities, Terre des Hommes Italy supports access to formal and non-formal education for pre-school and school-aged children through innovative education models. The challenges were many. Mr. Hassan Al Mostafa, President of Fraternity Association and partner of Terre des hommes Italy in Bourj Al Barajneh, describes the situation as that of “a psychological breakdown: a strong depression was felt across institutions. For some, education seemed lost. It was not worth the effort”.

 

Nonetheless, limiting the impact of the crisis by adapting as fast as possible without compromising on the quality of the educational content provided, has been the organization’s main success. “Our objective is to bring the school to the street, to the community, while in parallel pulling society from its state of confusion, towards an attitude of cultural and pedagogical commitment within a protective environment.”

 

Basma, 6 years old, has just finished her third level at Terre des Hommes Italy Early Childhood Education program, earning her certificate for transition into public schooling. For her mother who doesn’t speak French, it was challenging to support the girl. “I called the teachers directly for any questions, sometimes 2-3 times a day, and they were very fast in their response”, explains the mom.

 

“We owe the success of our approach to the hard work of our teachers and management colleagues, who have worked above and beyond in this extremely difficult period. They all worked beyond working hours, reassuring caregivers and children, providing extra attention to children struggling with the new modality of learning, individually following-up with each and every family on their specific needs and conditions.” Highlights Rabab Hakim, Terre des Hommes Italy Education Specialist.

 

In North Bekaa and Mount Lebanon regions, Terre des Hommes Italy and its partners spared no effort on many fronts. Realizing the importance of caregivers engagement particularly on the long run, encounters and psychosocial support were organized with the parents, while in parallel, exchange was intensified with the children. “We had to support the social emotional aspect of the children so they can bear the pressure and acquire the capacity to think and build a vision, explains Mr. Al Mostafa on the adopted approach. We created for them encounters with their peers, so they experience positive emotions and could feel responsibility and become able to act and function efficiently within a group.”

 

While caregivers want the continuity of education for their children, all the associations representatives agree that none of the organizations providing educational services today can resolve the education crisis alone and save this generation from the risks of interrupted learning: “We need everyone”.

 

 

 

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Featured Photo :  12-year old beneficiary, doing her homework. Photo by Terre des Hommes Italy in Lebanon, November 2020

 

 

 

 




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