By Oscar Michel, Masters in Journalism, DCU

The Clooney Foundation for Justice, Google.org,  HP Inc and UNICEF‘s partnership will enroll thousands of Syrian refugees  in public schools across Lebanon.

They announced a $2.25 million partnership, a generous donation from Google.org and a $1 million technology grant from HP to support a pilot of technology tools to provide advance learning outcomes. With the help of UNICEF, seven public schools across Lebanon will create 3000 opportunities for out-of-school refugee students.

“Thousands of young Syrian refugees are at risk — the risk of never being a productive part of society. Formal education can help change that. That’s our goal with this initiative. We don’t want to lose an entire generation because they had the bad luck of being born in the wrong place at the wrong time,” said the Clooneys.

Lebanon is the country the most touched by the refugee crisis as it has left local resources strained, affecting both refugee children and Lebanese students.

“How can children become the workers and leaders of their countries someday if they have not had the education and support they need to reach their full potential?” asked UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. “By supporting the work of UNICEF and our partners to deliver education to every child affected by the conflict in Syria, the Clooney Foundation for Justice is not only investing in the futures of individual children, it is investing in the future of the entire region.  UNICEF is deeply grateful for this critical funding.”

These children have been shaped all their lives by violence and lack of opportunities. They will most certainly become a lost generation of nothing is done. They need education to shape their lives.

Lebanon’s Minister of Education, Marwan Hamade said “The Government of Lebanon is profoundly grateful to the leadership of George and Amal Clooney and the Clooney Foundation for Justice. We are delighted the Clooney Foundation has decided to support our efforts to open the doors of more public schools to ensure we can offer every child currently living in Lebanon a free education. We are also looking forward to collaborating with the Clooney Foundation and its partners on advancing innovative technology in all our classrooms. Each child given access to education, and new ways of learning, represents a life changed for the better. Today’s grant from the Clooney Foundation for Justice is therefore a crucial investment in future generations in Lebanon.”

“We must ensure that we do not fail those most vulnerable victims who have managed to flee the carnage in Syria. It is our hope that the refugee children who will soon start school through this initiative will have a chance to contribute to building a more peaceful and just world and, hopefully, one where those responsible for these grave crimes are held to account.” said Ambassador David Pressman, Executive Director of the Clooney Foundation for Justice.

This partnership gives a unique oppourtunity to Syrian refugees in Lebanon to change destiny.

 


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