RACE – Reaching All Children with Education
Increasing Access to Education for Syrian Refugees in Lebanon
In Lebanon, at the onset of the Syrian refugee crisis in 2011, nearly 500,000 children were out of school. Troubled with the reality of limited international engagement and no solution in sight, in 2013 Theirworld commissioned a team, led by Kevin Watkins, to work with partners and identify solutions to the Syrian refugee influx. The team designed a “double-shift” school program to accommodate the students and Theirworld worked with the donor community and international agencies, such as UNICEF, to build momentum, hone the proposal, fund it and put it into action.
Today this initiative, known as “RACE” – Reaching All Children with Education in Lebanon, is managed by the Government of Lebanon with the support of international agencies and financing from the international community. It currently enrolls around 300,000 Syrian refugees annually.
Complementing RACE, Theirworld has invested in pilot projects in two Lebanese public schools working with the government and local partners to test education technology and school-feeding approaches, to see what works and how these approaches could be scaled. This work is funded by players of the UK People’s Postcode Lottery. One program uses tablet and smart-board technology to improve learning; a school snack programme addresses refugee children arriving at school hungry and unable to concentrate. Results and scaling recommendations for these interventions will be published as a public good.