Providing children with an education is a basic right and one that is proving challenging for Syrian refugee children. In Lebanon schools are overwhelmed and places are limited making it difficult for Syrian families to register their children. Providing children with pre-school education prepares them for school and for the Lebanese school system. The pre-school will cater for 110 children and provide work for Syrian teachers as well. It gives focus to the community and hope for the future.
The number of those displaced by violent conflict and persecution has risen dramatically in the last couple of years. Today, a record number of more than 60 million people are forcibly on the move, half of them children. Refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs) are among the world's most vulnerable people, as their basic rights and security are often in danger and they are unable to obtain the protection and opportunities they need in order to rebuild a stable and independent life.
RIJ recognizes that the most sustainable way forward for displaced persons is to take control of their own lives and forge stronger communities. If people make their own decisions and use their own talents they are able to recover dignity and self-sufficiency. RIJ has supported over 840 projects since 1979 through community-based initiatives that enable them to regain their self-confidence as well as demonstrating the value they can bring to local communities and the economy.
Our funding will support up to 5000 people through projects such as a community art programme for Syrian youth, baby kits for mothers from Myanmar and start-up business training for refugees living in Nairobi. We believe the majority of refugees want to stay near home and providing opportunities to lead a normal life is essential to ensure this. Providing opportunities for individuals ripples through to families and the communities allowing stronger integration and longer-term sustainability.