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Last month, we sent an urgent letter to TSI supporters from our Lebanese partners, George and Anne, about the opportunity to set up another tent school for Syrian refugee children. They and the displaced families they serve are watching our progress toward the $32,800 goal that would launch a new tent school in the largest refugee camp in Lebanon.
Since supporters received that July letter, the urgency surrounding this project has increased for two critical reasons.
First, the fall and winter seasons are coming soon in Bekaa Valley, where the camp is located. The launch of a school means a safe and warm place for children to continue learning, and to just be kids again.
Second, schools for refugee children are the best hedge against the recruitment techniques of extremists, who prey on youth in response to the sense of hopelessness that can develop in the camps.
“Young adults are very vulnerable to these groups who offer a strong sense of belonging, identity and purpose,” says Steven A. Zych, of the Overseas Development Institute. “We don’t need token gestures toward de-radicalization, we need high-quality education for refugee children.”
This new tent school will shelter 100 children who have had their learning interrupted since fleeing Syria. If our goal is met, the funds raised would also sustain the school for an entire year.
Displaced but not defeated, the children in the three schools already managed by George and Anne are demonstrating real transformation. “The students continue to improve in their learning and behavior. They love their school, and absences are rare,” George and Anne report.
At school, every day begins with a devotional time. “All of the kids are exposed to the message of the Gospel,” George says.
Friends, you are needed. If you have not already given toward this goal, please prayerfully consider making that contribution today! Together, let’s do something tangible to address the crisis of displacement, and the radicalization of refugee youth.
In Christ’s name,
Dale Dieleman, Vice President, Tent Schools International™