A new $2.25 million partnership and $1 million technology grant will see thousands of Syrian refugees enrolled in public schools.
The Clooney Foundation for Justice has partnered with UNICEF, with support from Google.org and HP Inc., to support formal education for Syrian refugees in Lebanon. Not only will the new initiative help seven public schools provide critical education opportunities to nearly 3,000 currently out-of-school refugee students, it will also give additional support for Lebanese and Syrian children in public schools across Lebanon.
Additionally, the $1 million technology grant from HP will support a pilot program of technology tools in these schools. Lebanon has the world’s highest per capita refugee population and local resources have been strained by an influx of more than one million Syrian refugees.
“Thousands of young Syrian refugees are at risk – the risk of never being a productive part of society,” said George and Amal Clooney in a statement acquired by ET Canada. “Formal education can help change that. That’s our goal with this initiative. We don’t want to lose an entire generation because they had the bad luck of being born in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Lebanon’s Minister of Education, Marwan Hamade, said of today’s announcement: “The Government of Lebanon is profoundly grateful to the leadership of George and Amal Clooney and the Clooney Foundation for Justice. We are delighted the Clooney Foundation has decided to support our efforts to open the doors of more public schools to ensure we can offer every child currently living in Lebanon a free education.”
“We are also looking forward to collaborating with the Clooney Foundation and its partners on advancing innovative technology in all our classrooms,” Hamade continued. “Each child given access to education, and new ways of learning, represents a life changed for the better. Today’s grant from the Clooney Foundation for Justice is therefore a crucial investment in future generations in Lebanon.”
“How can children become the workers and leaders of their countries someday if they have not had the education and support they need to reach their full potential?” asked UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. “By supporting the work of UNICEF and our partners to deliver education to every child affected by the conflict in Syria, the Clooney Foundation for Justice is not only investing in the futures of individual children, it is investing in the future of the entire region. UNICEF is deeply grateful for this critical funding.”