Fund in partnership to help refugee children in Lebanon

A UAE fund for refugee schooling has announced a partnership with Discovery Education to help vulnerable young people, including refugee children, in Lebanon. (Supplied)
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Updated 29 September 2020

Fund in partnership to help refugee children in Lebanon

  • The initiative will reach 5,000 students in addition to more than 17,500 already being helped by the REF in Jordan, Lebanon, and the UAE

LONDON: A UAE fund for refugee schooling has announced a partnership with Discovery Education to help vulnerable young people, including refugee children, in Lebanon.

The Abdul Aziz Al-Ghurair Education Fund (REF) said in a statement that the first-of-its-kind program would deliver online teaching and increase access to education for thousands of refugees, filling gaps in their schooling that have emerged due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis.

The initiative will reach 5,000 students in addition to more than 17,500 already being helped by the REF in Jordan, Lebanon, and the UAE.

The Abdul Aziz Al-Ghurair COVID-19 Online Learning Emergency Fund for Refugee Education was launched by Abdul Aziz Al-Ghurair in April 2020 to ensure vulnerable populations were able to continue their learning without interruption.

Discovery Education will collaborate with local organizations in Lebanon to provide access to digital learning resources aligned to the Lebanese curriculum for students in grades eight to twelve.

It will also provide training to 100 teachers to address the challenges of remote instruction, enabling them to access a diverse set of new digital tools to help them deliver online lessons to students effectively.

Participating teachers will also become part of the Discovery Educator Network, an online educational community.

“The economic crisis followed by the pandemic and the devastating blast in Beirut has forced Lebanon to adapt to a new challenging reality,” said Al-Ghurair. “We are proud of this partnership with Discovery Education, as digital is the new solution for education. This program ensures refugees and vulnerable youth have access to high quality education that they would not have otherwise,” he added.

Refugees report high numbers of school dropouts, with less than 2 percent of Syrian refugees completing secondary education. The program will help students catch up on the education they have missed — on and off since October 2019 — through interactive and creative online tools.

“Refugees and vulnerable youth in Lebanon have faced unprecedented challenges over the last year, which have posed several risks to their access to education. We strongly believe that no child or young person’s education should be halted due to external factors which are beyond their control,” Robin Headlee, managing director of Discovery Education International, said.

 

“That’s why we are doing our part to ensure these young people have the opportunity to continue their education online, in order for them catch-up on their development and not be held back in the future. I am delighted that what started out as a kernel of an idea by two like-minded organization has resulted in this practical, proactive and tangible project.”


Eight killed in militia mortar strike on Yemeni village

Updated 4 min 26 sec ago

Eight killed in militia mortar strike on Yemeni village

  • Local government officials have condemned mortar and ground attacks by rebels which they say breach the Stockholm Agreement.

AL-MUKALLA: Eight civilians, including four children and four women, were killed in a Houthi mortar attack in Yemen’s western province of Hodeidah, residents and local officials said.

The mortar fired by Houthi rebels struck a house in Al-Qazeh village, in Hodeidah’s Durihimi district, on Sunday, killing eight civilians and critically wounding seven others.

Four children and three women from the same extended family were among the injured, Fuad Maki, Durihimi’s director, told Arab News.

“This is a crime committed by Houthi militia,” Maki said, sharing graphic images of bloodstained victims.

Houthis have intensified their shelling and ground offensives in areas controlled by government forces in Hodeidah in a bid to drive loyalists from key locations in the province.

Local government officials have condemned mortar and ground attacks by rebels which they say breach the Stockholm Agreement.

Hodeidah’s Ministry of Human Rights office described the Houthi shelling as a “crime against humanity” and accused the rebels of exploiting a truce to attack residential areas in Hodeidah.

A local rights groups that documents war casualties said that militia attacks and land mines have killed more than 500 civilians since late 2018 when the agreement by signed.

In March, the internationally recognized government of Yemen suspended participation in the Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC) in the western province of Hodeidah after a Houthi sniper killed a government soldier.

In neighboring Taiz province, Houthi fighters are believed to have destroyed houses owned by two of their opponents.

Muhannad Al-Azzani, a local photographer, said that rebels destroyed his house and a neighbor’s residence on Saturday without giving a reason for the attack.

“The Houthi militia blew up our house next to Muhammad Ali Othman school. And (they blew up) the house of our neighbor, Amin Al-Sharabi,” Al-Azzani said on his Facebook page, attracting support and sympathy from his followers.

Even before taking power by force in late 2014, the Houthis destroyed hundreds of houses belonging to tribal leaders, army and security officers, journalists, activists and politicians who challenged their rule in the provinces of Sanaa, Amran, Taiz, Al- Bayda and Jouf.

Yemen’s Defense Ministry said on Saturday that troops and allied tribesmen pushed back a Houthi assault in the northeast of Marib province.

In Sanaa, Arab coalition planes on Sunday struck military sites around the airport controlled by the Houthis. On Friday, at least seven drone and ballistic missiles silos inside and outside the city were bombed by coalition warplanes.

In Riyadh, Prime Minister-designate Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed said on Sunday that talks on the formation of a new government have reached “the final stage.”

During a meeting with Vladimir Dedushkin, the Russian ambassador to Yemen, Saeed urged the international community to pressure the Houthis to accept peace proposals and stop attacks on maritime traffic in the Red Sea.