Entrepreneurs for Knowledge and the Acronis Foundation is proud to announce the opening of a school in Lebanon. The school for Syrian refugees was developed in cooperation with the German NGO Zeltschule e.V. and Alphabet and is located in Bar Elias, close to the Syrian border. The classes are held in a big and stable tent construction, to give more than 250 children the opportunity to learn and grow.
“The children are living under really harsh circumstances, many of them are traumatized by their experiences during the war in Syria,” said Leoni Rossberg, Project Manager of Entrepreneurs for Knowledge. “The new school provides them with a safe environment to be a child and allows them to focus on learning and growing. Daily structure and routines bring a welcomed distraction from the challenging reality.”
The school’s construction and educational program are designed to adapt to the difficulties in the informal settlements. Two properly equipped classrooms accommodate 250 children, who attend classes in morning and afternoon shifts. The two classrooms create a warm and welcoming atmosphere. At the beginning of each week, the students’ families receive a food package, so they do not rely on the children to work for survival. “From time to time we put a small chocolate crème in the food bags, it really makes the children smile,” says Ranim Ch. Ibrahim, the Manager of Alphabet.
Today, the class for younger children studied the names of different animals while the older class learned to calculate the perimeters of different shapes. For the Acronis Foundation, this project is not only about financing educational infrastructure but also about supporting the success of each child through high-quality education. Qualified and passionate teachers are key to good learning outcomes.
The teachers in Barr Elias are all from the Syrian community itself; they all have an academic background and experience in educational programs. Furthermore, they understand the children’s situation and experiences which makes them compassionate and understanding allies and mentors.
Of course, skill building isn’t limited to what happens in classrooms. So, to promote health and physical education, the Acronis Foundation gratefully turned to its high-profile sports partner Arsenal Football Club, who provided shirts and footballs.
“It’s always a privilege to support local communities and children who love football,” said Communications & Community Affairs Director at Arsenal Mark Gonnella. “We believe that football has the power to inspire young people and teach them valuable life skills, such as teamwork and respect. These are transferable into other aspects of their lives and can help them to unlock their true potential.