Education for all children in Lebanon

Education for all children in Lebanon

Around 430,000 children have fled with their families from Syria to neighbouring Lebanon. With the war in Syria set to continue, these children have very little prospect of being able to return to their homeland any time soon. However, only very few of them have the opportunity of going to school in Lebanon. The majority of the refugee children are in danger of becoming part of what is beginning to be known as a "lost generation". The war is robbing girls and boys of the chance to lead self-determined lives.

Education programme

Lebanon's education ministry has launched a country-wide programme called "Reaching all Children with Education" in order to do just that – reach all children. The programme is designed to provide improved access to basic education for both Syrian refugee children and needy Lebanese children. One of the organisations involved in the implementation of the programme is UNICEF, as part of its No Lost Generation initiative.

And Germany is one of the biggest supporters of UNICEF's work in Lebanon. In the 2014/15 school year, the BMZ provided 34 million euros to support the Reaching All Children with Education (RACE) programme. For the 2015/16 school year, the BMZ made available 65 million euros. By increasing the support provided it will be possible to ensure that up to 200,000 children can be enrolled in school, giving them a better future.

Results for the 2014/15 school year

Training for plumbers in Jordan

Training of "water-wise plumbers" in Jordan

Jordan is known as one of the most water-poor countries in the world. Yet so far it has not been using its scarce water resources efficiently enough. In many places, the pipe network is in poor condition. Maintenance is inadequate and there is a lack of well-trained staff. As a result, some 40 per cent of all water is lost on its way to consumers. Since the beginning of the civil war in Syria, more than 655,000 refugees have come to Jordan and they all need drinking water. The pipe network is in urgent need of improvement.

Better opportunities for locals and refugees

On behalf of the BMZ, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) is therefore helping with training for plumbers. The aim is to help reduce water loss in households and give both local people and refugees new employment opportunities. GIZ is partnering with the governmental Vocational Training Corporation (VTC) and with five of its vocational schools in the central and northern governorates.

More acceptance of women in skilled trades

More than one third of the trainees are refugees. 50 per cent are women. This will not only increase public acceptance of women working in skilled trades, it will also make the project more effective, because Jordanian tradition does not allow male plumbers to come and work in a household unless a male family member is present. A female plumber, however, can work in the house even if all the men are absent.

"I want to continue working as a plumber so I can make my own living," says Fatima Aseedeh, who is from Syria. Her Jordanian colleague Isra Batayneh agrees: "My training as a plumber makes me independent. And I am able to enter a new field of work that used to be a male preserve."

Better living conditions in Iraq

Better living conditions for refugees and locals in Iraq

More than four million Iraqis are internally displaced, having fled the terror of the organisation calling itself Islamic State. According to UN estimates, one third of them have gone to the Kurdistan-Iraq region in northern Iraq. In addition, 250,000 people from Syria have fled to northern Iraq. In many districts, there are now more refugees than local people.

Supporting local authorities

The Kurdistan Regional Government, with assistance from the international community, is undertaking enormous efforts to meet the refugees' needs. In the Province of Dohuk alone, 18 refugee camps for up to 50,000 people each have been set up, and there are plans for further camps.

On behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) is working in the camps in the Dohuk region. Working in close cooperation with Welthungerhilfe, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and local organisations, GIZ is supporting local authorities' infrastructure development efforts.

For instance, five health posts have been set up in the camps. GIZ has also worked with UNICEF to build seven schools and provide equipment for them. Three further schools are being built in Dohuk and Zakho. Psychosocial support and legal advice for refugees are focus aspects in Germany's programmes. Community centres have been set up for this purpose in six camps. All these activities help improve the living conditions of internally displaced people, refugees and locals.

German Development Minister Gerd Müller made a commitment regarding this project to the Kurdistan Regional Government when he visited northern Iraq in October 2014. So far, the BMZ has provided a total of 37 million euros for this effort. Over the next two years, the successful activities under this project are to be continued and expanded.

Some examples of activities carried out so far

Water supply in Jordan

Improving the water supply in Jordan

Since the civil war began, more than 650,000 Syrians have fled to neighbouring Jordan. This is equivalent to almost 10 per cent of the Jordanian population – and more refugees are arriving every day. The influx of refugees is overstretching the national infrastructure. One major problem is the provision of drinking water for all people, as water is extremely scarce in Jordan. Even before Syrian refugees began to arrive, Jordan's water resources were being overexploited so that regeneration was no longer possible. Every year, the water table falls by one metre.

Renewing infrastructure

On behalf of the BMZ, KfW Development Bank has therefore been involved in the Jordanian water sector for some time now. In order to make sure that there is adequate water supply for all local people and refugees and in order to prevent conflict between the two groups, the German government has significantly increased its funding for the Jordanian water sector since 2012.

At present, KfW is preparing and executing water projects worth a total of about 600 million euros. These projects include both short-term measures to address urgent water needs in the border regions and activities for the long-term, sustained improvement of water supply in Jordan. For example, old deep wells providing water for cities such as Irbid, Ramtha and Mafraq are to be repaired. These cities are hosting particularly large numbers of refugees. Some 1.7 million people depend on these wells.

Results to date

Thanks to repairs to the supply network, 135,000 people now have better access to drinking water.

800,000 refugees and Jordanians are going to enjoy reliable water supplies thanks to the expansion of the Aqib pipeline, which connects one important wellfield to the Jordanian supply network.

By the end of 2014, 20 wells had been repaired. The additional water now available will meet the water needs of about 365,000 people.

Safe drinking water (50 per cent from new wells) and hygienic sanitation are available for 132,000 people in the Zaatari and Azraq refugee camps.

In the host communities, 12,000 pupils now have improved sanitation facilities.

Toilet facilities for schools in Jordan

Toilet facilities for schools in Jordan

More than half of the Syrian refugees in Jordan are school-age children. Of those, 85,000 attended Jordanian schools in 2014. The schools often run two shifts in order to accommodate them. Despite these efforts, more than half of the Syrian children are not able to go to school. The school buildings cannot accommodate so many children, and many of them lack the sanitation facilities to cope.

"During the past year, my daughter has not been able to go to school since all the schools here are oversubscribed. Many Syrian mothers face this problem – it is alarming!" says one Syrian mother.

Improving the sanitation situation

The BMZ is providing funds for a programme specifically designed to improve the sanitation and hygiene situation in overcrowded schools. Toilets are being repaired and the number of toilets increased. In addition, the cleaning staff are receiving further training, and teachers are being trained to act as hygiene monitors. And the children are being taught how important hygiene is for their health.

Furthermore, sewage treatment plants are being built at a few pilot schools. The water treated in these plants is then used to water the school gardens. These gardens also perform a social function: they serve to bring together Syrian and Jordanian youths, who get to know each other while taking care of the gardens together.

Civil Peace Service in Lebanon

"I want to go to school"

Amal Murad has survived a dangerous journey. Together with her family, this 14-year-old girl fled to Lebanon on foot, crossing a mountain range in freezing cold weather. Many other people from her village, a hamlet in the Qalamoun Mountain Range, also fled when the fighting between the Syrian army and the insurgents became increasingly fierce. With her parents and five siblings, Amal now lives in Baalbek in a two-room flat.

Amal misses her home

Although Amal feels comfortable in Baalbek, she misses her old home and the life she had there. "I knew many people in our village. We had lots of relatives there. And my father had work."

In Baalbek, Amal, together with other girls from Syria, goes to a tuition centre for schoolchildren, where she is taking an English course. The Centre offers tuition for Lebanese and Syrian schoolchildren. Amal hopes that she will soon be able to attend an ordinary Lebanese school so that she can receive lessons in all the usual school subjects.

Raid Hussein, 7 years old

Raid Hussein and his family fled from the civil war in Syria in the autumn of 2013. With his parents, Imad and Nour, and his five-year-old sister, Lujain, he lives in the Lebanese city of Baalbek. They share a one-room apartment with Raid's uncle.

"We can't go back"

The Hussein family come from Zabadani in Syria, close to the border with Lebanon. Their house was destroyed. "We can't go back. We couldn't take anything with us when we fled. Everything we had was burnt," Raid's father Imad explains.

"I hope that my daughter can get treatment"

"When our home was hit by bombs, my daughter was terrified. For a long time afterwards, she did not speak a word. Recently she has improved a little, but she still has speech problems. And whenever there is a loud noise, she flinches and becomes frightened," explains her mother, Nour Hussein.

Local people willing to help

"Our settling here has made life more difficult for the Lebanese, too – in particular as regards jobs," says Imad Hussein. In spite of these pressures, thirty-three year-old Imad has found the local population very willing to help. "When my daughter became very ill, a number of Lebanese people collected money for us so that I could take her to the capital Beirut for treatment."

"I want my children to have a future"

Wafa Al-Daif, aged 35, fled the civil war in Syria with her husband and six children in 2013. All they could take with them were their ID cards and a few important papers – nothing else. "My children were very frightened. Our house was destroyed in the fighting. It was completely gutted by fire. And it was such a beautiful house! We built it ourselves and put so much work and money into it."

Life in Baalbek

Like many Syrian refugees, the Al-Daif family now lives in the Lebanese city of Baalbek. "My husband was already working here before the war started. When we had to leave our village, he found a place for us to stay here in Baalbek," says Wafa Al-Daif.

The family is registered with UNHCR and receives food vouchers. "Of course the food we get through the vouchers is not enough to feed us all adequately," says this Syrian mother. That is why she is grateful that her husband occasionally finds work.

"In Syria, all my children went to school"

Sara, Ahmad and their other siblings cannot go to school in Lebanon because their parents do not have enough money to pay the registration fees or to pay for exercise books, schoolbooks and the school bus. "In Syria, all my children went to school. There, too, we had to pay but the costs were less than they are here," says the children's mother, Wafa Al-Daif. She hopes that, one day, her six children will be able to finish their education and live their lives without fear. "I hope that we will be able to live in a place where my children will have a future."

We are giving refugees prospects for the future

More than 4.8 million Syrians have left their country in order to escape the civil war. Many are staying in neighbouring Lebanon. In Lebanon's cities and villages, the housing market, the labour market, health care facilities and the education system are unable to cope with the huge influx of refugees. The strain on the country's scant resources is leading to conflict between the local Lebanese population and the Syrian refugees.

One fundamental problem is the lack of communication between the local people and the refugees. That is why the Forum Civil Peace Service (forumZFD), with support from the BMZ and the help of local partner organisations, has been setting up projects that will give Lebanese citizens and incoming Syrians the opportunity to get to know each other, thereby breaking down prejudices. These projects have been designed to include many different groups of people, such as young people, women's groups, local mayors, teachers and spokespersons for the refugees.

In addition, the projects sponsor the training of community mobilisers, whose task is to mediate in conflict situations. These community mobilisers speak to locals and refugees alike about their concerns and fears as well as their living and working conditions. Then, with the help of all parties concerned, the mobilisers try to improve the situation that is causing strife.

"I used to play as a striker" (in German only)

Sports in Jordan and Iraq

Jordan and Iraq: Sport for Development

Since 2011, the war in Syria and the advancing troops of the terrorist militia "Islamic State" have driven millions of people from their homes. The number of people who have sought refuge in Jordan and Iraq is especially high.

In some towns, such as Dohuk in northern Iraq, the population has doubled in just a few years because of that.

This raises enormous challenges. Administrations and schools are stretched beyond their capacities, teachers are working in three shifts with 60 pupils in each class, social tensions are increasing.

Fostering social cohesion

Sport for Development, the project implemented in Iraq and Jordan by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the Federal Development Ministry, helps to forge closer ties between refugees and local people.

With support from GIZ, local organisations offer sports activities for refugees, displaced persons and local people aged 8 to 24. These activities give the young people the chance to experience things they have not been able to enjoy for a long time owing to war and displacement: respect, fairness, self-confidence and the feeling of being part of a group. Their physical and mental wellbeing improves.

The joint activities can build bridges. Children and young people from all the different population groups get to know and understand one another, they make friends and see new hope – all of which helps to prevent conflict and violence.

Training the trainers

The project also includes measures to train local specialists so that they can identify and harness the potential of sports for children's development. Social workers, teachers and trainers learn how to teach social skills and values through sports.

Disadvantaged youth and young people who have disabilities are also included. Girls and young women are encouraged to take up sports activities. In a region where, by tradition, such activities are rarely open for girls, that can be a way to empower them.

Fostering personal development in young people

The project has given twenty-one-year-old Maryana Haddad, from the Jordanian women's national football team, the chance to train to become a football coach. These days she is teaching others.

"The programme is unique in Jordan. It links football training provided by a qualified trainer with measures to explicitly foster the personal development of young people. I really enjoy working with the children and coaching them in their development, regardless of nationality, age or gender. I, too, grow through my work as a trainer and I try to be a role model for the kids – on and off the pitch."

Results so far

The Jordanian provinces of Amman, Irbid, Mafraq and Zarqa are home to a particularly high number of refugees. The programme supported by GIZ offers them a range of sports activities at more than 60 schools and 40 other sports facilities, reaching some 7,200 children and young people throughout the region.

In northern Iraq, in the districts of Dohuk town, Saxo and Sumel, some 65,000 children and young people are benefiting from sports activities that are on offer in six refugee camps and in two youth centres. In order to ensure that the project can provide psychosocial support and help prevent violence and resolve conflicts, 240 teachers and trainers will receive special training. Half of the participants are women.

Kick for Hope in Jordan

"Kick for Hope" in Jordan

Sport is fun. Sport fosters physical and mental wellbeing. It teaches people values such as fairness, tolerance, respect and discipline. It boosts self-esteem and self-confidence, and increases people's willingness to take on responsibility. That is why sport is used successfully in many development cooperation programmes to help build peace and prevent conflicts.

Making use of the positive potential of football

Streetfootballworld is a network of non-governmental organisations. With its peace-building project "Kick for hope", the organisation is bringing together Syrian children and young people from the refugee camps and children of the same age from Jordanian neighbourhoods so that they can play football with one another. Thus, the project offers the youngsters of each group the opportunity to meet and get to know the youngsters from the other group. The project also helps them deal with their wartime experiences and learn how to resolve conflicts without resorting to violence.

Fostering dialogue and preventing violence

The peace-building project "Kick for Hope" is being sponsored by the BMZ. It is reaching around 10,000 Syrian and Jordanian adolescents. Two hundred and fifty of these young people are being trained as volunteer coaches. During their training, they learn what to look out for when working with traumatised children, and how to foster dialogue and prevent violence. All participants receive training so that they can become so-called 'peer educators' and pass on the skills they have learned to other young people when the war ends and they return to their home communities. With these skills, they can help build a new, peaceful society.

Creating jobs in Egypt

More jobs for young people in Egypt

Waffia Mahmoud beams. "Finally I found a job and am no longer a financial burden to my family," she says. Mahmoud, a 25-year-old woman from Egypt, has found a permanent job in a food company in Cairo after being unemployed for a year.

Work as a route to inclusion

Even though unemployment is high, many companies in Egypt find it difficult to fill vacancies because the jobs on offer are often unacceptable for job seekers: in many cases, wages are low; there are no formal work contracts and no social security benefits. This is hampering Egypt's economic development.

In order to improve the outlook for young people, Germany has been supporting Egypt in expanding careers advice and job placement services for job seekers and improving the quality of existing jobs. The BMZ's Labour Market Access Programme is part of its special initiative for stability and development in the MENA region.

Advisory services for businesses

Under this programme, small and medium-sized enterprises are being advised on how they can improve their job offers. Another activity under the programme is the establishment of employment centres that offer courses to prepare participants for their jobs.

Waffia Mahmoud took part in one of these courses and received assistance in choosing a career, applying for a job and preparing for the job. Now she is optimistic about her future. "I like my job. And thanks to my job, I have my own bank account for the first time – this will help me save money for the future."

Aims and results of the project

By December 2017

at least 8,000 young people, a quarter of them women, will have received job training

and at least 5,000 young people, one fifth of them women, will have been helped to find permanent employment in the formal sector.

Furthermore, the situation of 6,000 employees will have improved – for example, thanks to improved social benefits, better health and safety standards and new advancement opportunities.

Since January 2015

643 young people have attended preparatory job courses and

815 job seekers have been helped to find work.

Vocational training in Afghanistan

Places on training courses to create opportunities in Afghanistan

There are some 1.7 million young people in Afghanistan who are the right age for vocational training – but at the moment there are still far too few training courses for them.

Students in vocational schools are not getting the training they need

In 2014, only 80,000 young people were able to get a place at one of the country's 300 vocational schools. Moreover, many vocational schools are poorly equipped; there are no standardised curricula or exams; and most teachers lack practical experience in the world of work. Thus, when they complete their training, many of these students are not prepared for the job as well as they could be.

Another 600,000 young people received informal training in 2014, learning a trade in small businesses in the traditional way, without any government support. However, these new workers often lack the technical background knowledge needed to carry out their jobs in the modern world.

Practice-oriented training

If Afghanistan is to give job opportunities to all young people and foster economic development, it will need about 1,000 well-equipped vocational schools and some 70,000 qualified teachers in the long term. Germany is supporting Afghanistan in developing a vocational education system that meets these requirements – so that all young people can receive practice-oriented training on the basis of uniform standards as soon as possible.

Results so far