Breaking Barriers: Adam's Journey to Education and Inclusion
With the country slipping deeper into a multi-layered crisis, the consistent delivery of education services remains heavily impacted, affecting the future of vulnerable children and youth in Lebanon. The education of Lebanon’s children is the most essential factor necessary for the recovery and future of the country. However, this vital sector is increasingly facing challenges and is now in crisis with over a million children at risk of losing out on quality learning for the fourth consecutive school year following COVID-19 and teacher strikes.
Adam, 13 years old, has experienced many educational barriers in his life. He arrived from Syria with his family to Lebanon in 2014 and was never enrolled in school. Born with a hearing impairment, Adam was denied registration in several schools before his parents were introduced to the Haqqi Consortium program, funded by the European Union, where he was successfully registered along with his sister, Souad* (5 years old) and brother Said* (11 years old).
Adam is currently enrolled in the Haqqi Consortium Program, funded by the European Union, and has been participating for 4 months now. During the time of his enrolment, Adam has been participating in the program’s Basic Literacy and Numeracy classes. He has also received two hearing devices that helped him with his communication and integration within his community and circle of friends. Adam’s sister, Souad* (5 years old) and brother, Said* (11 years old) are also enrolled in the program’s Early Childhood Education and Basic Literacy and Numeracy classes. Their mother, Fawziya*, has highlighted how these programs have positively impacted the wellbeing of her children.
“They [Save the Children] visited the ITS and informed us about the project. I was motivated to register my children; Adam, 13 years old, Souad, 5 years old, and Said, 11 years old. We have all registered our children at the ITS and are now sending them to school.
“My children have never attended school before this time. Souad and Said used to refuse to go to school. Adam was denied registration in all schools previously due to his hearing loss and the special attention he needed. They all used to stay home doing nothing and I was so concerned to see them growing up without any writing or reading skills.
“It’s different now. Souad, the youngest, is always happy when I told her that it’s time to go to school [education centre]. She dresses happily and prepares herself to leave. She also seems to be so happy when she comes back home every day.
“They have been attending the classes for two months now, 4 days a week. When they started attending these classes I was so happy about it. I can now see the improvement. For example, when we’re on our way to the supermarket, they can read the signs, and this is nice to see. It is as if they’re starting a new life now and they have a purpose in life.
“When it comes to Adam, he’s been living without a hearing device for four or five months now after ruining the old device he had. He was going crazy without it and couldn’t focus on anything. He started behaving in a very bad way as if he had lost something. Even the neighbours were complaining about his attitude. When we contacted Save the Children, they were very responsive and arranged an appointment for Adam to be tested and then provided him with two hearing devices.
“He's very happy with it now. He’s calmer and it is easier for us to understand him. He’s also communicating better with his siblings. He even started to go out and play with his friends again - previously he refused to do so due to his hearing loss. It was very difficult for him to be around people. His attitude changed even in classes where he’s able to understand easier now and communicate with his teachers and classmates.”
Adam adds: “I enjoy coming to the centre. Among all activities, I enjoy writing on the board and playing with my classmates the most. I love all the teachers here [education centre] and enjoy the company of my friends. When I grow up, I want to become a doctor.”
“Supporting the right to quality education for vulnerable Syrian and host community children and youth” is a European Union funded project, implemented by Haqqi Consortium composed of four partners (Save the Children - Lead, NRC, MAPS and Nabad). The project aims to improve the education pathways and wellbeing for vulnerable children and youth, with or without disabilities. This is accomplished through increasing children's access to a safe and inclusive learning environment, providing out-of-school children and youth with quality non-formal educational opportunities and improving the transition and retention of children in an enhanced education system.
This publication was produced with the financial support of the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of Save the Children and Haqqi Consortium and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.