Middle East (MNN) — Education is vital for refugee children who have been affected by war and conflict, yet Brookings.edu reports that more than 40 percent of school-aged Syrian refugee children in Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey are not in school.
Over the last several years, the three countries have instigated secondary shifts at public schools to welcome more refugee students in, and they’ve modified curriculums to better suite refugee children.
This has given children more access to education, but problems are still arising and keeping children from attending schools.
“Enrollment requirement, language difficulties, and a lack of affordable transportation are keeping children out of the classroom,” Tent Schools International’s Rawan Haddad says.
For children living in refugee camps, traveling to public schools takes a long time. Students must either walk several miles or pay for transportation.
Further, children without documentation are unable to enroll in schools, and “children with disabilities and secondary school-aged children are at particular risk.”
Brookings.edu reports that only about 23 percent of refugee students move onto secondary education, and only one percent continue with higher education.
Education: The First Building Block for Syria
Every year, more children are dropping out of schools due to conflicts. Yet, Haddad spoke with a Syrian mother who told her, “if we become an uneducated generation, Syria will [be] destroy[ed]. Education is the first block in building a strong society, and without it, there will be no doctors, teachers, or engineers to help rebuild Syria.”
However, Tent Schools has a vision for refugees living in the Middle East and in the United States.
“The mission of Tent Schools is to bridge the gap in children’s education to close the digital divide with technical devices and to help teachers understand and find ways to address student[s] with trauma such as PTSD,” Haddad says.
To accomplish that mission, Tent Schools has created a laptop program in the U.S. and is establishing schools in the Middle East that are free, located where it’s needed the most, and spiritually and emotionally healing.
They want to help children to learn to trust again and to give a voice to them so the world can see that that they have hopes and dreams.
These hopes and dreams can start being nurtured through education in the healthy, spiritual environment that Tent Schools offers.
“We want to be sure that this generation gets healed,” Haddad says.
“If they go back one day to their country, we want to be confident they are returning with seeds of hope to plant a better future for their countries, a hope that comes from the education they received in the camps and through coming to know Jesus who cares so deeply for them.”
Join Tent Schools in providing education to refugee children in the most effective and efficient way by equipping them with education, skills, and healing. Help provide education through your financial support. Also, pray for and befriend refugees near you.
Haddad says refugees want people to know who they are as people and not just what their needs are.
“They need just to feel that we are with you, we love you, and we know you are good people. You are important for us.”
Header photo courtesy of Tent Schools International via Facebook.