A Syrian mother building hope out of shattered lives

Noor, a 30 year old teacher and mother, has set up a school in a settlement by the Mediterranean Sea, and offers free classes to children.

When she came to Lebanon, and joined dozens of families in this settlement, she received a very warm welcome. ‘People knew that I was a teacher back in Syria and they had hopes that I would start a school. I started with very basic resources. We even used to go to the dumpsite and gather card board to write on them instead of notebooks because parents are poor. At first I had 15 students but when parents heard that the school was for free, everyone was encouraged to educate their children.’

‘Even though I´m a mother and a wife and have to cook, clean and handle many tiring tasks, I’m very optimistic when it comes to those children,’ she says sitting on the floor of her small tent that turns into a classroom every afternoon. A white board stands in the corner, opposite the kitchen corner where old pots wait for her to cook the day’s main meal.

‘Not everything is about money. These are the children of our country. They need you, even if you can’t help them financially, you can help them morally. You can cultivate them, educate them and make them feel as if they’re in their country.’

Noor's classroom where she teaches Syrian Refugees. Noor has noticed that since the children have started coming to school their behaviour has changed.

The tent where Noor's has set up her classroom. At first resources were very limited in the settlement. They used to gather cardboard from the dumpsite to write on instead of
notebooks.

A Syrian girl learns the alphabet in Noor's classroom. Noor has had to develop some innovative teaching methods to make do with so few resources.

A Syrian girl learns the alphabet in Noor's classroom. Half of Lebanon's 1.1 million registered Syrian refugees are children. 66% of those do not attend school.

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