Annette Quinn Head of Operations & Impact
Our bus project brings a classroom to the tent doors of refugee girls and boys residing in settlements of West Bekaa. Many of these children live on farmland, at least 30 minutes from formal and informal schools, and therefore have no safe or low-cost means of travel to school. Other children forgo their education due to work and family support commitments, lack of official paperwork or due to full capacities within local schools. Tens of thousands of Syrian children are growing up uneducated and regrettably, this has been on-going for 10 years.
We launched our bus as a solution to some of the key barriers with the aim to deliver a programme giving children fair access to: Literacy, Numeracy, Critical Thinking, Creativity and Psychosocial support. This year we have 2,706 children on roll of which over 50% are girls. Our mobile school means children have access to:
- A vibrant classroom that is safe and requires no travel to school
- Rich teaching and learning gender neutral, content that promotes education equality for all
- Bespoke designed content that is culturally sensitive and delivered in local languages
- Technologies that support inclusive, individualised and personalised learning and digital literacy through world class apps
- All year-round education offering accelerated learning opportunities to aid children into formal school settings
- Psychosocial support to nurture children’s self-worth and wellbeing no matter their harsh environment
- Lebanese and Syrian male and female teaching staff to promote cultural cohesion and equality and reduce education access barriers for girls.
Each day our bright blue bus arrives into settlements to be received by demonstrably excited children, ready to learn. They eagerly form a queue and await their turn to climb into our colourful classroom for their lessons, for an opportunity to use the tablets and apps and to attend classes that aim to help children connect to their inner resilience.
Our bus is a mobile oasis that provides a taste for learning. It also stimulates parents and children alike to want and demand education. We hope it helps mindsets to access education and promote education equality because education means hope. It’s the food to cerebrally develop children, it’s their pathway to opportunities and their chance to improve life circumstances and status.