I was distressed to learn that there are refugee youth who haven’t been to school for over five years. Does this mean we’ll have a generation of unemployable young adults who can’t read or write and therefore vulnerable to people who offer them a gun and some money to devastate a community?
Here’s what’s happening in Lebanon. Surely it’s being duplicated in Jordan and elsewhere. 50% of refugee children between age 5 and 17 are not enrolled in school. Only 17% of teenagers 16-18 are enrolled. Why this high dropout rate? There are over a million registered refugees, Syrian and Palestinian. The schools are overcrowded. School is taught in French or English, not Arabic. An organization I’ve told you about, ANERA, is working to change that by offering education and vocational classes to give students the skills they need to support their families. We are so lucky to be living here that it’s almost impossible to imagine losing our house, our job, our loved ones, our friends. It’s what happens when people have to run for their lives, leaving everything behind. It’s what makes them poverty stricken refugees.