The life of a refugee is hard to imagine. Leaving behind everything familiar, fleeing into the night full of fear. Entering into a foreign land for refuge, being unable to work and treated like you’re not wanted. This is the case for many Syrian refugees currently seeking asylum in Lebanon.
Children are often at the cold face of the long list of hardships facing Syrian refugees in Lebanon. If they are fortunate enough to have at least one parent alive they are often left locked up and unattended at home as their parents go searching for desperately needed food and supplies. Children, particularly in the case of orphans, are extremely vulnerable to being kidnapped and forced into child labour.
Unattended, uneducated, undernourished and underdeveloped; the situation for these children is dire.
Rev. Emil Bou-Rizk is an Anglican clergyman living in Lebanon. After leaving Tunisia where he had ministered for eight years and upon arrival to Lebanon his family were appalled at the treatment of Syrian refugees. They witnessed children as young as 4 being forced to work in fields all day. They witnessed first hand the squalid conditions refugees were living in.
Together with his wife, Emil began caring for the children they saw on the street by telling them stories, arranging play activities and sourcing and providing them with food and clothing. They started taking severely traumatised children to a pyschologsist and provided families with training to care for them. Gradually, they began meeting with Syrian refugee families in other villages, building strong relationships and networks. After building relationships with many families, Rev. Emil and his wife put to them the idea of starting a school for their children. The response was overwhelmingly positive and the school quickly grew in number to around 52 children with many more children wanting to learn. However, in order to grow the school, which is currently operating out of Emil’s small house, desperately needs to build some classrooms and a toilet block. At this stage many children are learning on balcony due to space limitations! They need to build a classroom before the cold winter makes this space unusable.
Anglican Aid is supporting Syrian refugees by providing Good Shepherd School with the funding needed for teachers, educational resources and clothing for the refugee children. Support is also being provided so that children suffering psychological trauma can get qualified professional help. Your donation to Anglican Aid’s Syrian Refugee Appeal is providing children with hope for the future. Rather than a life spent in farm labour with no hope of a future, these children are being given an education that will help them access sustainable employment in the future.
Anglican Aid is committed to expending all funds raised in emergency projects in the country where the emergency occurred and will use all donated funds in the country where the emergency occurred to assist long term development objectives. Emergency funds are not retained for emergencies elsewhere.
All donations are tax deductible.
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Pastor Emil from Lebanon shares about his journey and the Good Shepherd School for Syrian refugee childrenContinue reading