Most people can relate to the feeling of frustration that comes when you can’t fully grasp a concept. Shady, a 12-year-old boy who recently joined SAWA’s education centre, experienced this throughout every single one of his classes.
Having been out of school for two years, as is all too often the case with Syrian refugee children, on joining he did poorly in the placement assessment. To try and bring his basic literacy and numeracy skills up to the level of his friends, Shady was placed by the teachers into the remedial class. Once there, however, his learning continued to stall, with SAWA’s teachers noting that he wasn’t learning at the same pace as his friends.
Shady found it hard to listen to instructions, maintain focus, and was a slow reader and writer. To help him, the teachers tried differentiating instructions, providing one-to-one practices, and sitting with him during break time. Despite all these efforts, they remained unable to help Shady to reach his classmates’ level.
While academic education takes a key position in SAWA’s goals, they stand for more than this. They aim to raise the confidence of their students, educate them on their rights, and provide them with the essential values and skills needed to excel.
While Shady would have been easy to overlook as a non-academic child, and left to struggle, this would have been against everything SAWA stands for. With the involvement of the Inclusion Officer, a specialist in learning difficulties, SAWA were able to place Shady’s difficulty linking sounds and syllables in different words, incorrect reading and spelling as symptoms of dyslexia.
Dyslexia is a learning disorder which involves difficulty in reading, due to problems identifying speech sounds and learning how they relate to letters and words.
With this new diagnosis, SAWA was able to formulate a tailored plan to support Shady in his learning. Teachers set up one-to-one sessions, using new techniques and visual learning strategies that helped him link information as pictures, which as a visual learner he finds much easier.
Due to SAWA’s incredible support Shady’s ability to read faster and correctly has seen remarkable development, and he can now count syllables in words and associate sounds, which made him more confident and motivated to learn.
It is only through SAWA’s incredible dedication towards each and everyone of their students that Shady’s education has progressed so far.
In a report by the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) it was found that even in the United States, students with learning difficulties are three times more likely to drop out of school. If a country with a far stronger economy, where schools are able to function without facing constant closure due to economic hardship (as is the situation in Lebanon), produces these statistics, one would think that receiving a supportive education would be a near impossibility for Shady.
Without your generosity, and the funds received from Hands Up, SAWA’s would not be able to access this support. Hands Up are working hard to make sure children like Shady continue to have access to the support they need.
Please, consider donating today to continue this incredible work.