Learning Arabic during the lockdown

Date 13.09.2020

Nadine (28) and Raed (36) are the parents of Dana and Wissam, twins of 10 years old born in Afreen, Syria. The family fled to Lebanon in 2018 eluding war to find shelter in Dweir, a village in Southern Lebanon near the city Nabatieh. Due to the conflicts the two children were obliged to leave their schooling in Syria; however, in Lebanon the family got the chance to get involved in the “Back to the future program” from AVSI’s community liaison staff.

In January 2020 the family approached ‘Back to the Future’ center, located in a nearby village in Ansar. The twins then started attending the Basic Literacy and numeracy activity (BLN).

After the World Health organization declared the COVID-19 pandemic and the total lockdown of all educational structures in Lebanon, the project adopted the Can’t Wait to Learn” remote distant program developed by War Child Holland, one of the organization of Back to the Future consortium with AVSI and Terres des Hommes.

The children have been reached routinely with interactive educational lessons by trained teachers through different WhatsApp groups. The program includes videos, printouts (books), stories, games and differentiated exercises.

In addition to “Can’t Wait to Learn” program the children are receiving remotely psycho-social support sessions with SOON methodology through interactive videos shared by the project animators via WhatsApp groups.

Back to the Future is a project funded by the EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis (MADAD Fund) which promotes enrollment and improves retention in formal education, for over 16,955 refugee and vulnerable children from local communities. It also enhances the learning environment by upgrading school buildings. The project supports formal and non-formal activities for pre-school and school-aged children. The project is implemented all over Lebanon over two years (2019-2021) by a consortium of 3 NGOs involving AVSI, War Child Holland and Terre des Hommes Italy.

At the beginning Dana and Wissam were facing challenges with the Arabic language since they used to attend a Kurdish school in Afreen. However the videos allowed the children to participate and they have shown remarkable advancements especially in Arabic.

“Thank you for giving our children access to education in these hard times, it has given us the chance to draw a better future for Dana and Wissam”, said Nadine and Raed.