NOK 1 million is being donated by the Kavli Trust to the work of the Norwegian Refugee Council to provide displaced Syrian children in Lebanon with schooling.
Photo: Norwegian Refugee Council/Rayane Abou Jaoude
“I love everything about school, and all the subjects,” says seven-year-old Rama with a smile. Thanks to the Norwegian Refugee Council, she and her siblings are getting an education.
“These youngsters have been robbed of their childhood, and have lost all their innocence,” says 28-year-old Aya, who teaches English at the Council’s school. “They need to feel they belong somewhere. It’s very important that they get these lessons.”
Even more young Syrian refugees will now be getting the same opportunity, thanks to the support from the Kavli Trust.
“Displaced children need to go to school not only to learn but also for psychosocial reasons,” says trust general manager Inger Elise Iversen when explaining its decision to support the Council’s work in Lebanon.
“It provides stability in a very uncertain world, while education gives hope for the future and is fundamental to building a better world.”
“We’re very grateful for this generous contribution from the Kavli Trust to our efforts to educate young Syrian refugees in Lebanon,” says Council secretary general Jan Egeland.
“Education is a crucial element in all humanitarian crisis response. Going to school is important for the individual child’s future, personal development, safety, and physical and mental health.
“But an educated population is also essential for the child’s local community and homeland.”
The Council’s education programme covers teaching programmes for primary and secondary schoolchildren, vocational training for young people and the qualification of teachers.
In addition come special provision for refugee children who have been out of school for a long time, allowing them to catch up through intensive coaching.
Lessons are also given which will enable the pupils to enrol in Lebanon’s state schools.
Educational institutions provide an important arena for dealing with trauma, encouraging socialisation, and creating a welcome feeling of normality and a secure, stable framework.
“We’re dependent on increased support to step up our efforts,” says Egeland. “NOK 1 million from the trust will allow us to give new hope to many Syrian refugee children in Lebanon.”
More than three million of Syria’s youngsters, both internally and in neighbouring countries, have no opportunity to go to school as a result of the civil war.
Lebanon has accepted more than a million refugees from its neighbour. Half of these are below the age of 18, and the great majority of them are receiving no schooling.
The Lebanese education system has been overwhelmed by the influx from Syria, and both the UN and other aid organisations lack the money to offer lessons to all displaced children.
“We’ve supported efforts to integrate refugees for a long time, and aim to take a long-term approach even in today’s acute conditions,” says Iversen.
“From that perspective, helping displaced Syrian children to get to school represents a very important project.
“The Refugee Council has education as a core area, and has made a big contribution in many conflict zones around the world. We’re looking forward to a good and fruitful collaboration.”
Norwegian Refugee Council in brief
- Norway’s largest humanitarian organisation.
- Provides emergency help and protection to displaced people in roughly 25 countries.
- Key activities: accommodation, legal advice, provision of food, water and sanitation, operation of refugee camps, and education of refugee children and young people.
- Gave help in 2014 to more than five million displaced people, including one million Syrians in their own country as well as in Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon.
- For more information, see flyktninghjelpen.no.
- The Kavli Trust in brief
- The Kavli group is the only food manufacturer in Norway which allocates its profits to good causes.
- Earnings not required for developing the group are shared by the Kavli Trust between recipients in the fields of culture, research and humanitarian activities.
- The ambition of the trust is to make a difference as the owner of the group, an asset manager and a charitable donor.
- The trust allocated NOK 43.7 million in 2014.
- For more information, see kavlifondet.no.