Right now, there are more than one million Syrian refugees in Lebanon – 200 thousand of those are kids who don’t get to go to school. They’ve seen violence, they’ve seen poverty, they’ve seen what it’s like to be forced to leave their homes. What they haven’t seen, is a classroom. Doesn’t seem right, does it?
But Amal and George Clooney are changing that.
You see, last year, when the only “Clooney” headlines seemed to involve pregnancy and babies, George and Amal were setting up their non-profit organisation – The Clooney Foundation for Justice (CFJ). It’s all about advancing justice for victims of war, children deprived of an education and refugees who just want to rebuild their lives.
This week, the CFJ has announced it’s teaming up with technology giants Google and HP as well as UNICEF, to open 7 public schools in Lebanon – where Amal was born.
“Thousands of young Syrian refugees are at risk — the risk of never being a productive part of society. 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,” said George and Amal in a statement.
Lebanon has the world’s highest population of refugees per capita and with more than one million Syrian refugees there now, resources are strained. It not only means refugee children miss out on an education, it means Lebanese children are affected too.
“We must ensure that we do not fail those most vulnerable victims who have managed to flee the carnage in Syria. It is our hope that the refugee children who will soon start school through this initiative will have a chance to contribute to building a more peaceful and just world and, hopefully, one where those responsible for these grave crimes are held to account.” said Ambassador David Pressman, Executive Director of the CFJ.
George and Amal’s $2.25 million initiative will send at least 3000 kids to school this year alone.Lebanon’s Minister of Education, Marwan Hamade says he’s grateful to the celebrity couple: “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. We are also looking forward to collaborating with the Clooney Foundation and its partners on advancing innovative technology in all our classrooms. Each child given access to education, and new ways of learning, represents a life changed for the better. Today’s grant from the Clooney Foundation for Justice is therefore a crucial investment in future generations in Lebanon.”
If you’d like to support Amal and George’s work or learn more about the Clooney Foundation for Justice, you can do so HERE.