Funded in part by Google.org and a $1 million technology grant from HP, the initiative will enable seven public schools to provide formal education to nearly three thousand refugees who are currently out of school. The partnership also will support a pilot program that uses school-based technology to advance learning outcomes for refugee children and Lebanese youth. Nearly two hundred thousand Syrian refugee children in Lebanon are being denied a formal education and are at risk of becoming a "lost generation."
"Thousands of young Syrian refugees are at risk — the risk of never being a productive part of society," said George and Amal Clooney, co-founders and presidents of the Clooney Foundation. "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."
According to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, there are more than a million Syrian refugees registered with the agency in Lebanon, which has the world's highest per capita refugee population. The partnership is aimed at improving educational opportunities for both Syrian and local Lebanese children, who have been affected by the refugee crisis.
"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," said Marwan Hamade, Lebanon's education minister. "We are also looking forward to collaborating with the Clooney Foundation and its partners on advancing innovative technology in all our classrooms. Each child given access to education, and new ways of learning, represents a life changed for the better."