As pupils and students across the UK get ready to head back to school, so do Syrian refugees thanks to Hands Up donations.   

In Lebanon, 54 per cent of registered Syrian refugees are ages 3 – 18. The vast majority live in informal tented settlements and receive limited or no education, meaning they don’t qualify for entry into the Lebanese school system.  

Hands Up funds a school in partnership with SAWA in the Bekaa Valley, which aims to address this by giving Syrian refugee children the basic literacy and numeracy skills needed to enter formal education.  

One of the students is 13-year-old Abdel Hamid. He is currently in the third level of the education program, and his teachers describe him as one of the most diligent and distinguished students. 

Abdel said: “I am very proud of the fact that I can read and write and I do not want to lose it. I love the videos! My favourite subject of all is Maths.”  

It’s not just education the pupils benefit from. SAWA’s holistic approach means children, and their families, can get the support they need. 8-year-old Sarah was showing signs of sadness, tiredness and keeping herself to herself. The team spoke to her father who told them her mother had passed away.  

Since her mother’s death, Sarah had felt responsible for the housework and taking care of her baby sister. She was referred to Sawa’s protection team, so she could get the support she needed.   

Since then, Sarah has improved and her teachers have noted that they see in her a great love for learning, indicating a lot of potential in her. By showing this commitment she defies her circumstances and shows great strength. 

Education is vital for refugees as it gives them the knowledge and skills to live productive, fulfilling and independent lives. It also helps to protect them from abuse and exploitation and is the foundation to rebuild resilient and strong communities. 

This project is made possible by your donations.  

Find out how you can support this and other projects like it here.