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Clooney foundation to fund schools for Syrian refugees

August 1, 2017

A foundation set up by George and Amal Clooney is to fund public schools for 3,000 Syrian refugee children in Lebanon. Close to 200,000 Syrian refugee children in Lebanon are currently out of school.

George und Amal Clooney
Image: Reuters/K. Lamarque

The Clooney Foundation for Justice has announced a $2.25 million (1.9 million euro) partnership, which includes a donation from Google and a million dollar technology grant from HP, to support formal education for Syrian refugees in Lebanon, which has the world’s highest per capita refugee population.

The partnership with UNICEF will help seven public schools to provide education opportunities to nearly 3,000 currently out-of-school refugee students this school year. It will also support a pilot of technology tools in these schools to advance learning outcomes for refugee children and Lebanese youth.

“Thousands of young Syrian refugees are at risk -- the risk of never being a productive part of society," George and Amal Clooney said. "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."

Syrian refugees in Lebanon
Syrian refugees in LebanonImage: picture-alliance/AP Photo/B. Hussein

Lebanon has over a million Syrian refugees, including nearly 500,000 children, many of whom currently attend "second shift"  additional afternoon classes exclusively for them in public schools.

Lebanon’s Minister of Education, Marwan Hamade said " We are delighted the Clooney Foundation has decided to support our efforts to open the doors of more public schools to ensure we can offer every child currently living in Lebanon a free education."

Close to 200,000 Syrian refugee children in Lebanon are out of school, according to UNICEF. The UN children's agency and its partners have been at the forefront of efforts to address the long-term needs of Syrian refugee children, including education, counseling and social inclusion.


jbh/jm (AP, Reuters)