A Story of Hope
The biggest problem for a Syrian child in Lebanon is, no doubt, education.” Most Syrian refugee children have been out of school for one to two years. The lingering conflict in the home country is jeopardizing a whole generation of children. According to UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa Maria Calivis, “fewer than 25 per cent of Syrian children are enrolled in public education from the total number of 400,000 displaced Syrian children,
Maybe this is one of the most important reasons which have pushed me to involve myself on this process, since the human is congenital to the place where he is born.Syria, where I deemed my eternal passion for its soil .where my being was composed and my soul had emerged, my passion to this holy land pushed me to be part of any efforts to make the peace and winds of change soar over my lovely country again.
I had left Syria more than 18 months ago to set up my new life and my new work, but something stopped me when I first arrived to Lebanon, I was wandering in Tripoli streets. I was shocked when I have seen a lot of children were either begging or working, instead of joining the schools.
The Syrians were everywhere, they fled their home country seeking peace and secure, unknowing which destiny is waiting them and their children, a lot of bitter facts, I faced in Lebanon, made me made my decision and be where I am now .and share every DISPLACED AND ORPHAN CHILD their agony and homelessness,
After, I had my own good experience in working with education field in Syrian for many years. I followed one of the local NGOs in Lebanon to start my work as a teacher, in a very short time, I was assigned as a school principle for one of seven schools for the NGO I am working for,
through working on this year I recognized, what do our children need, and how are they were treated, I got a good experience plus to my previous experiences in management domain,
However, this year was so different where the number of displaced people was increasing dramatically .On the other hand, the fundraisers and the organizations started to be exhausted from the Syrian crises length.
It was the beginning of the school year when many of the Syrians refugees in Diar Ammar, North of Tripoli in Lebanon, started either to call me or visit my house to be assured about the school for this year.
I didn't have the accurate answer since my answer was depending on the NGO I am following. after passing more than one month of the school starting, the people were still dramatically increasing their visit and their calls to me for a time my house turned into a school where my last year students were coming by groups to me to be assured about their school starting , them and their parents ,
finally after more than one month , I had a call from the NGO boss to attend a meeting for their schools , I was shocked when I was informed that this year will be on the expense of the Syrian parents where every child will cost his family about 330$ in addition to the high cost of transportation fees . For a while I thought about the children I've seen them first I arrived to Tripoli ,the orphans and the lost parents children and all of Syrian war children who don't have their daily food expense to pay such a huge amounts , especially most of the Syrian families members are more than three to four children,.
There are no funds for this year for our organization, "they claimed" well. I am apologizing; I can't complete my work with you on these hard conditions for our people. I declined my position and I went back home , my nieces and nephews were waiting my coming back to tell them to prepare themselves to school ; It was a shock!! When I have seen in their faces the sadness and frustration while I was telling them there is no school for this year.
"I am sorry kids I couldn't help you"
The people who met me in the street and who come to my home, my last year children were waiting the good news. Alas! in vain
The people trust me and the children like me. I have promised everyone who met me to help them.
I had to find a solution,
On the same time a lot of local NGOs were so active to enroll the Syrian students and ask their family for payment.- our children became a lucrative, commercial commodity - for those who are seeking money and power,
Since, I had to fulfill my promises and vows for the children of my last year school and their parents. I started to brainstorm my next step;
Firstly, I had to choose a Syrian team who has the same vision, those who will represent the live consciousness when the humanity is in a deep sleep,
Mr. Samir and his wife are two old friends' lawyers; are helping the Syrian refugees and they are volunteering their time and labor to help the Syrians in the region,
Rabie'a is a young guy who used to come my home and encourage me. He is working so hard to offer the help for every Syrians.
Pro Yasser is a well-educated man; I was so happy introducing to him and know about such amazing wise man.
All of us met to find the solution; I had informed them about my plan to start the work. All of us agreed to work on the team soul.
They introduced me to one of religious men in the area and told me he might help us, since he has good relations with Arabs community. I met him in his office, he was such kind man and he promised that he will do his best. I couldn't wait him since the time is running in hurry and now it is more than one month for starting the schools. Abo Samir a school owner visit my home to offer me his school to start registration the new students,
"You can use my school for running your job. And the school rent will be 35 $ for every student.
"Well let me think and figure out if I can start or not".
The problem of funds was the biggest
"OMG what kind of adventure," I need a lot; School renting, books, teachers' salaries, school supplies and a lot of other expenses.
How can I offer them? "Well I am not frustrated", my goal is a sublime one and I am sure Allah will be with me. I sat so sad for many nights trying to figure out the solution,
Let me try with Sama if she is able to bring back bags and school supplies with her from USA.
Mr. Mohammed, Oh yeas, the amazing, Syrian, generous man, who I met last year when he helped the students to pay for buses fee in the school. Let me call him, "I thought".
It was the 3rd of November, when I got the most amazing news I have ever heard. Mr. Mohammed assured me that he can pay for the school renting,
"I am working for Allah and for my duty, I am a normal laborer. Although, I don't have sufficient funds to cover the school for the whole year, but I will try my best to offer from my own labor and help those children to be enlightened and construct schooling for every deprived child in the area. I am with you guys, keep up and start the school"
I couldn't believe what I've heard!! , the school will be found,
But there are still a lot waiting me, books, teacher salaries, school supplies.
Mr. Mohammed was for me the savior for every deprived children,
The hope was filling every corner of my soul, Can I?
Yeas I can.
7/25/2022 11:17:25 pm
Grateful for sharing tthis
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Mustafa Al-haj , the School principle.