Ramadan is a student at Sawa school in the Bekaa Valley. Alongside 300 other Syrian refugee children supported by Hands Up, Ramadan has been learning remotely for over a year. However, his teachers began noticing a drop in participation during regular school hours and that Ramadan only responded to the class WhatsApp group in the evenings.

It quickly became clear that Ramadan had been working during the day, selling biscuits and gum from a street stall, to help his family meet the spiralling cost of living.

The team at Sawa talked with his family to see how Ramadan could be better supported, and thereafter his situation was closely monitored to provide him with tailored educational support. Everyone worked together to increase his participation, and in turn, Ramadan became more committed to his studies and grew in confidence.

Lebanon’s economic turmoil is having a terrible impact on the Syrians we support. School dropout rates have risen as children resort to work to help support their families.

For so many, there isn’t a choice.

Thanks to your support, the Sawa team work around the individual needs of students so that access to education – a basic human right – is available for all, no matter their circumstances.

On the 11th October Ramadan and his friends returned to the classroom. “The school is the right place, not the street,” said Ramadan.