LEBANON: George and Amal Clooney plan to help nearly 3,000 Syrian refugee children go to school this year in Lebanon, where the United Nations says around 200,000 Syrian refugee children are out of education. More than one million Syrians – including over 500,000 children – are registered as refugees in Lebanon after fleeing the devastating war that has lasted more than six years in neighboring Syria.
UNICEF said that close to 200,000 Syrian refugee children in Lebanon are out of school. Human Rights Watch estimates the number at more than 250,000.
The nearly 3,000 Syrian children’s education will be funded through a $2.25 million partnership announced by The Clooney Foundation for Justice with Google, in addition to a $1 million technology grant from HP. The partnership with UNICEF will help seven public schools educate the students, who are not currently in school, and will support a pilot of technology tools in these schools for refugee and Lebanese children, the Clooneys said. “Thousands of young Syrian refugees are at risk – the risk of never being a productive part of society. Formal education can help change that,” the couple said in a statement.
“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,” they added.
More than 330,000 people have been killed in Syria since war broke out in March 2011 with anti-government protests that have evolved into a complex proxy war. The Clooneys welcomed their first children – a twin boy and girl – in Britain last month. Amal Clooney, a prominent British-Lebanese human rights lawyer, married her Hollywood movie star husband in 2014.