Gratitude from Lebanon

The tent school in Bekaa Valley that is currently running due to support from donors to Tent Schools International

BEKAA VALLEY, LEBANON – A tent school in a Syrian refugee camp in Bekaa Valley is educating children because of your support.

Seventy-five children in Lebanon, refugees of the civil war in neighboring Syria, will be able to attend school because of the support of donors to Tent Schools International (TSI) in 2016.

The goal of TSI’s year-end campaign was to fund a tent school in Lebanon for a full year. The campaign will accomplish that goal in 2017, as well as providing funding for other welcoming initiatives that benefit displaced children and their families through education.

“It means a lot to me that my children are being educated,” said one Syrian mother in an interview for TSI’s recent video release from Lebanon. “We lost everything in Syria and I didn’t want my children to lose education too. I am happy that there is a [tent] school, and that you respect the children and treat them well.”

In October, TSI’s partner was met with resistance from the surrounding community as they were raising a new school in a Lebanese camp. The pushback was disappointing, but not unexpected due to anti-Syrian sentiment in the region.

Funds were re-directed to a different tent school in need of support, run by the same Lebanese partner.

This new school is made up of 75 students aged six to 12 years who would not otherwise have access to education. The school employs three Lebanese teachers who instruct them in Arabic, Reading, Writing, Math and English. Mornings begin with a devotional reading and prayer, and teams of volunteers engage the kids with art, music and physical education.

“We lost everything in Syria and I didn’t want my children to lose education too.

“More kids want to go to our school, and if funds are provided, we will take more students and run another shift,” said George*, director for TSI’s partner organization in Lebanon. “The kids love their school and teachers, and most of them are making significant progress in learning.”

George asks for prayer for the school and teachers, who are putting in extra effort to teach in this setting, while working with children who have experienced trauma at home in Syria or en route to Lebanon.

A recurring theme from refugee parents is gratitude that their children are welcomed, valued and encouraged by their teachers, an experience that has been rare as the families were forced to seek refuge in countries not their own.

“I am thankful for their school. I thank the organization that supports it,” said a mother. “Before there was no possibility of having any lessons for my youngest children…[They] are now studying how to read and write. I thank God, and I thank you.”

Thank you for impacting 75 children with quality education, and for showing them the love of Jesus!

Emily Klooster for Tent Schools International