George and Amal Clooney are striving to help Syrian refugee children in Lebanon receive a formal education.
The Clooney Foundation for Justice, which was launched in 2016, will be partnering up with Google and U.N. children’s agency, UNICEF, to donate $2.25 million toward seven “shift” schools located in Lebanon. Hewlett Packard will also be donating an extra $1 million technology grant.
The money will be used to cover the cost for 3,000 Syrian refugee children to attend school, which includes transportation and registration fees, teachers' salaries, computers, and textbooks.
The foundation won’t be opening any new schools. What will happen is that the Lebanese students will attend school in the morning “shift,” and the refugee children will go in the afternoon “shift.”
UNICEF spokeswoman Lauren Davitt told CNN that operating this way allows schools the ability to house all students, but just at different times. Registration will start this September.
In a statement, the Clooneys said "Thousands of young Syrian refugees are at risk — the risk of never being a productive part of society. 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 UNICEF, in Lebanon, there are nearly 200,000 Syrian refugee children who are not attending school.
Ambassador David Pressman, executive director of the Clooney Foundation for Justice, noted, “We must ensure that we do not fail those most vulnerable victims who have managed to flee the carnage in Syria. It is our hope that the refugee children who will soon start school through this initiative will have a chance to contribute to building a more peaceful and just world and, hopefully, one where those responsible for these grave crimes are held to account.”
This is a great start to helping the Syrian refugee children receive an education. Hopefully in the future, no refugee children will be left behind, and all of them will be able to go to school.
Banner/thumbnail image credit: Flickr user U.S Department of Commerce