Lebanon (MNN) — For over a decade, LSESD’s SKILD program has supported children with special needs in Lebanon. But more recently, they have begun a partnership with Lebanon’s Notre Dame University with the goal of improving access to education.
LSESD Partner Relations Coordinator Daniella Daou says, “In Lebanon, we have no mandated special education, so students we serve at schools would leave at grade 9 or 10, with no future in sight in terms of academic or vocational education.”
How the partnership works
On NDU’s campus, SKILD operates an office that helps students struggling with their academic performance. NDU psychologists work with the students to help them find the best academic practices for their education.
The partnership also led to a new, 2-year certificate program for students that cannot enroll in traditional institutions. Daou says this program is the only one of its kind in Lebanon. “The students take academic courses, as well as life and social skills courses. They audit regular university courses, they have internships on campus and off-campus.”
“We want them to be equipped academically and in their social skills to become independent citizens.”
Daou says LSESD wants to foster a culture of inclusion in higher education. “That’s what we don’t have right now. We are modeling the inclusive community on campus that we hope to see on a larger scale someday.”
SKILD’s work has brought together Christians from many different Christian and religious groups in Lebanon.
How to pray
Pray God’s love would be evident in the work of SKILD and the other branches of LSESD.
Since the economic crisis began, SKILD has lost a lot of qualified staff members as people flee the country. Daou says, “This has affected our capacity to run assessments as usual and serve kids. Please pray that we find qualified, passionate, people.”
LSESD expects more power cuts this month as well, due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Ask God to sustain the ministry.
The header photo shows Lebanon’s Notre Dame University. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain)