Tag: Lebanon

Children Education in Lebanon

Children Education in Lebanon

Lebanon, on the Mediterranean coast, has been hit hard by civil wars and there are still conflicts between different groups in society. The war in Syria has put further pressure on the country with millions of people fleeing. More than half of Lebanon’s Syrian refugees are children.

Since the outbreak of the war in Syria in 2011, around one million Syrians have sought refuge in Lebanon. Even before that, many Palestinian refugees lived in camps around the country. Children, and especially girls, are hard hit by conflicts and disasters. A total of 1.4 million children in Lebanon are expected to grow up in vulnerability, without access to the essentials such as protection and clean water.

Poor finances affect children

To cope with everyday life, families become dependent on the children contributing to their livelihood. Children are forced to work in agriculture, in a factory or as a street vendor in the middle of traffic. The most vulnerable children are at risk of being exploited in prostitution, falling victim to human trafficking or being recruited by armed groups.

Deteriorating situation for girls

Girls and women are negatively affected by the difficult economic situation and an unequal view of girls and women in particular, both among Lebanese and refugees. Among other things, girls are forced to stay at home to take care of the household and can therefore not go to school. Without education, their ability to control their own lives diminishes.

Six percent of children in Lebanon have been forced into child marriage. But for the girls who have fled Syria, it looks even worse, among them just over one in five has been forced to marry before they have turned 19 years old. Young girls are married off because someone is responsible for them or because the family is poor and needs money. Girls in child marriage are particularly vulnerable to violence.

Lebanon

This is what Plan International in Lebanon is doing

Plan International has been in place in Lebanon since 2016. Our highest priority in the country is to prevent children from being married off or forced to work, by focusing on the right to education and protection from violence. We work on several levels to increase girls’ power over their lives and opportunities to avoid child marriage and sexual violence.

In Tripoli, northern Lebanon, we work to support teenage girls’ schooling, which gives them a more stable foundation for the future and at the same time reduces the risk of them getting married early. We also work to ensure that the sexual and reproductive health and rights of girls and young women are met. We do this by informing, working to change attitudes and ensuring that girls have better access to health care and relevant products.

Plan International Lebanon informs and provides support to both children and adults to counter violence and to let them know where to turn if they are exposed. We also run preschools where both children and parents receive support. We educate young people so that they can support themselves and take a place and influence society in a positive way.

Plan International has a series of reports on the situation of teenage girls in humanitarian crises . One of the reports is about girls on the run in Lebanon and describes how violence is part of their everyday lives, that many are married off and how the economy affects their opportunities to go to school.

Together with girls of different ages, we discuss what their rights are and how they can take power over their lives.

Children Education in Lebanon

Youngest and strongest in the family

Ten-year-old Kholud was only three years old when the war broke out and her family was forced to leave Syria. The family sought refuge in the city of Tripoli in northern Lebanon, where they now live in poverty.

The difficult situation has forced Kholud’s family to marry off her older sisters. Her two brothers have also been forced to leave school to work.

Despite the challenges, Kholud is determined to follow his dream and train as a lawyer. She has joined one of Plan International’s programs that we run together with one of our partner organizations in the city where Kholud lives.

– I want to become a lawyer so that I can defend the rights of all people and make my voice heard in the society where I live, says Kholud.

The program that Kholud is part of is developed for children who are at risk of getting married or forced to perform harmful work. Together with the other children, she gets to learn more about her rights but also practice different skills. She also gets to learn basic reading and writing skills so that she can start studying and have better opportunities to support herself.

Kholud says that her sister is introverted and that their mother often underestimates her potential and says that she will soon be married off. But Kholud refuses to accept that her sister’s fate is already predetermined and urges her to decide for herself about her future.

– My sister can neither read nor write but I try to teach her everything I learn in the lessons so that she can become a stronger person, says Kholud.

Kholud’s stubborn struggle for his sister’s future has finally paid off. The family has agreed to let her sister take part in Plan International’s program.

– I can already see a difference in my sister’s personality and I am very happy about that, says Kholud.

Facts about Lebanon

Facts about Lebanon

Capital: Beirut
Population: 6 million
Life expectancy: 80 years
Infant mortality rate: 4.5 per 1000 births
Proportion of children starting school: 86.3%
Literacy: 91%
Proportion of women in parliament: 3%