total community members engaged
Luminos in Lebanon
Since 2016, Luminos has provided high-quality education to 8,455 vulnerable children in Lebanon. Our program continues to be a key lifeline for Syrian refugee children who are either out-of-school, or who are in school but at risk of dropping out.
Meet Batoul, a Luminos student in Lebanon:
Sitting at a desk surrounded by classmates, 11-year-old Batoul treasures her paper, pencils, and books — prized possessions at this Luminos classroom in Baalbek, situated in Lebanon’s Beqaa Valley. One of 13 million Syrians violently displaced from their home, Batoul has yearned for a sense of normalcy and an education. (Photo: Chris Trinh for the Luminos Fund)
“She feels that the school is her second home. She trusts her teacher,” says Batoul’s mother, Nawal. As the sole provider for six children, Nawal has made unimaginable choices and sacrifices to meet the family’s basic needs. “I worry about my kids the most, mainly about educating them,” explains Nawal. “After we were forced to flee our home, we faced many obstacles.” (Photo: Chris Trinh for the Luminos Fund)
At that time, Batoul knew only a few letters, words, and numbers. But education was merely one of the family’s concerns, as they experienced experienced homelessness. “We were homeless during the winter season,” Nawal says. “People later on helped us by offering us the basic necessities such as food and blankets. We were offered shelter and a job.” (Photo: Chris Trinh for the Luminos Fund)
Luminos was among those who could help provide relief. As she passed by a classroom, Nawal noticed a gathering of parents and children. Nawal approached the group to learn more about why they were there and stayed to register her daughter to enroll in a Luminos classroom. Today, all Nawal’s children are in school, and Batoul’s teacher, Noha (pictured here), is proud of the progress that she has made in the classroom. “She became studious and diligent,” says Noha. “She has overcome all the obstacles.” (Photo: Chris Trinh for the Luminos Fund)
Lebanon at a Glance
Lebanon remains at the forefront of one of the worst humanitarian crises of our time and hosts the highest number of displaced persons per capita in the world: 1.5 million Syrian refugees. Over the last few years, Lebanon has faced unprecedented economic, financial, social, and health crises that continue to impact nearly every aspect of residents’ lives, and in particular the lives of Syrian refugee children. Since October 2019, nationwide teacher strikes over declining real salaries and the COVID-19 pandemic have caused prolonged school closures, affecting over 1.3 million girls and boys.
According to the latest vulnerability assessment, 47% of school-aged children were out-of-school during the 2021-22 academic year. Amid these ongoing and overlapping crises, the Luminos program provides a critical opportunity for marginalized children to receive an education and build foundational skills.
11-year-old Moamen’s behavior transformed through the program. His mother Fatima notes that he has become more caring towards his peers and takes the time to listen patiently. When asked what his favorite subject was, he said, “I enjoy learning math—particularly the addition and the multiplication.” (Photo: Chris Trinh for the Luminos Fund)
What We Do in Lebanon
In Lebanon, Luminos supports refugee children who are both out of school and ineligible to enroll in formal education, as well as refugee students in school who need extra support to maintain their academic standing and progress to the next grade level. We help these children develop their foundational skills in Arabic, English, and Math, and have a particular focus on supporting their psychosocial well-being. In the current school year, children learn in-person between three and five days a week, and learn remotely for up to two days using digital resources like WhatsApp.
The recent, acute challenges in Lebanon combined with long-term crises and uncertainty pose a substantial risk to the psychosocial well-being of Lebanese children and refugee children from Syria. One study conducted in 2017 and 2018 with Syrian refugees in Beqaa, Lebanon, found that over 80% of children demonstrated clinical levels of depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, or externalizing behavior problems; rates are likely even higher now, given that vulnerabilities have dramatically increased in the past five years.
Luminos’ work in Lebanon is designed specifically to respond to these challenges, as our program includes a psychosocial support component that aims to build children’s resilience.
The 2022-2023 School Year
“Our impact in Lebanon is made possible thanks to the unwavering commitment of our community partners. They ensure that our students not only have the best possible learning opportunities, but a safe space to experience joy and growth.”
Liz Robinson, Director of Programs
Our Community Partners
Frontline community-based organizations (CBOs) are fundamental to Luminos’ model. These CBOs help select the communities we work in based on local needs, lead community engagement and delivery of the Luminos program, and monitor the program on an ongoing basis. In Lebanon, Luminos works with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education and the following CBOs to co-create and deliver our country-specific programs:
“Supporting, serving and enabling are three key elements that define our collaboration and partnership with the Luminos Fund. The mutual trust, transparency, and the open discussions with the Luminos team consistently contribute to achieving great impact. Luminos sees difficult challenges, learns with Ana Aqra Association in order to tackle them, and works to help change the world for the better!”
Program Manager, Ana Aqra Association
Latest news & stories from Lebanon
Joyful, bright-eyed, and brimming with hope for the future. These are just a few words that describe 9-year-old Yousef. Despite having to overcome several challenges at a young age, his optimism shines brightly. Yousef was an infant when his family fled their home in...
Teacher Abir in front of her classroom in Lebanon. (Photo credit: Chris Trinh)In the Middle East, Lebanon hosts 1.5 million Syrian refugees, including 660,000 school-aged children. Having fled a long and brutal civil war in their homeland, Syrian refugees are seeking...
In Lebanon, classrooms become more than a place to learn for our Syrian refugee students: they are safe havens of stability and community. Angie Thadani, Luminos Senior Director of Programs, shares insights from her recent visit.
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