One Boy’s Story

Refugees in Lebanon

 

At the start of the year, there was a new lockdown in the country which led to the closure of our educational centre. The rest of the centre was receiving more refugees than could be accommodated.

 

Here are some of the activities accomplished by the staff to keep up our mission. The dental clinic was functioning normally as always. It received more people as patients had more time to make appointments and come to repair their teeth. The waiting area of the clinic was always crowded. We had more than 10 patients with serious conditions and in need of treatment every day. The medical centre faced the masses of people suffering from infections, diseases and flu that are always invading the refugee camps while going through the hard, cold weather of the winter season. Our doctor is always putting all his efforts and capabilities into providing the patients with the best aid possible.

 

This winter, the team has provided over 350 families with blankets to keep at least some of the families and their children warm. 

 

After the educational centre’s closure, the teachers started a new way of schooling through online learning. It was always one of the possibilities, but it was considered very difficult for many reasons, such as lack of internet connexion, lack of computers, tablets or even phones for the children. Lack of experience is also a problem. It is difficult to teach the students how to use the online platforms without the availability of any devices, tools, and the needed equipment. Therefore, the team prepared new study plans and came out with a new way to use online learning with the children. They used short videos (2-3 minutes) for each of the four subjects: math, English, Arabic and science. The daily video explains a new lesson.

 

The videos include the teacher’s face, his voice and a PowerPoint (with pictures or videos).

 

The videos are compressed and sent using WhatsApp, where student’s parents’ numbers are divided into groups based on the grades and the classes of students: kindergarten 1 and 2, and grades 1, 2 and 3. 

 

After sending the video, the students (on demand or if necessary) are asked to send videos of themselves explaining and sharing what they’ve learnt, to make sure that the children understood the lesson, and/or sending a photo of the solution paper of the exercises sent by their teachers. 

 

Once per week, the parents are asked to come to the centre, respecting social distancing, to receive a file of worksheets for the children to solve at home, and /or papers that will be explained later on.

 

The supervisor receives feedback from the parents every week, taking into consideration what we can solve, and taking action to help the children get the best experience out of what we’re doing. 

 

Kutaiba’s* Story

Kutaiba said, “Being born in a tent without a doctor or any medical equipment defines the life that I am going to suffer. My siblings and friends feel that this is normal. I really see it as a burden that reflects the future I will be living. To be honest, it was only the introduction to my miserable life.
 

My father always called me a mistake, a weight that he would not want to carry. I wished he didn’t treat me like I am nothing. He uses me as a piñata to release his anger, a labourer that can do anything he wants. I am now twelve years old, carrying many scars on my face, head and back. Doctors tell my mother it is a miracle I am still alive. My friends think that I have some mental disabilities. They do not know what I am passing through or what is behind the smile that I am always carrying. 

 

After one last rough knock my father could have killed me with, my mother started to interfere, trying to protect me from time to time. I was not the only one getting hit. I managed to come to the Educational Centre after lots of fighting. The children there made fun of my appearance sometimes, and some other times they got scared. They called me a fool, a dumb child, and many other terms. I just can’t share what I go through with them, so I ignore it. What hurts me most is that one of these children is my brother.
 

Teachers at the school always treated me nicely. I didn’t know if it was because they knew what I went through. I liked being treated nicely. To be completely honest, no matter what I go through in school, I just cry myself out on weekends, waiting for Monday to come back to be in the school again. With all of this going on in my life, I learnt to keep up hope and wait. One day I will have a beautiful life.”

 

Kutaiba is a twelve-years-old boy who has been at the school for a year now. The story was put together by his mother, brother, and himself.

 

Thank you,

 

Izdihar
GHNI Partner

*For the purpose of safety and wellbeing, “Kutaiba”is a pseudonym for the individual being helped by this project

 

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