Schools might still be closed, but our education teams continue their hard work in novel ways. Amel’s education department had to move from insuring educational, recreational and psychosocial support to marginalized children and youth; to finding building an awareness campaign revolving around the Coronavirus.
Thus, Amel’s Mobile Educational Unit team in Bekaa who is used to having its boots on the ground is going out again, following all the health and safety regulations they will be going to the informal settlements they usually operate in to go door to door so as to raise awareness about the corona virus and maintain a precious contact they nurture with the children and the families.
The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness particularly amongst children and their caregivers when it comes to identifying symptoms of the virus, reinforcing basic hygiene awareness, making sure people know where to turn to in cases where there is suspicion of an infection.
This awareness campaign is sure to not only inform the children but also bring a smile to their faces, as for the first time, children won’t be going to class; but rather it is the teachers and instructors who will be going the children’s houses. In parallel to raising awareness about the virus, the education teams are using the opportunity to be face to face with the children to motivate them to use the remote learning tools and activities conducted and provided by Amel’s Mobile Education Units.
The campaign will be executed in the informal tented settlements of Kamed el Loz, it will seek to meet with around 350 families. In the first three days of the campaign, Amel’s education teams have reached over 62 families with great success. Amel’s dedication to the most vulnerable people along with the precious support given to Amel by its partner “Baroudeurs de L’espoir” has made this campaign possible.
What is the Mobile Education Unit?
Access to public education is one of the biggest challenges for children living in informal camps and shelters that have been scattered throughout Lebanon since 2011. These children often face terrible living conditions and lots of them are prevented from accessing school due to transportation fees, child labor, or early marriages. 58% of children between 3 and 18 years old living in Lebanon are currently out of school.
As part of the response to the Syrian crisis, Amel International has adapted its educational activities to the above-mentioned needs of Syrian and Lebanese children, based on the extensive experience of working in the field and remote camps, due to her previous experience in the field of mobile medical clinics. Amel conducted a comprehensive assessment of needs in the Khiam-Marjayoun area, which decided to launch the MEU project in 2016. A second Mobile Education Unit was launched in 2018 in West Bekaa (Kamed el Loz region).
The MEUs are special vehicles equipped with educational and recreational materials (books, educational games, numeric tablets, etc) as well as a cabinet for psychological consultation, benches, tables and movie-projection equipment. The MEUs operate directly in the informal tented settlements on a weekly basis, and provides vulnerable children with Retention support activities (homework support and remedial sessions) psychosocial activities (individual consultations, focus groups and awareness sessions for the parents), recreational and cultural activities (weekly movie projections in the ITS, outdoor activities, drawings, theatre, etc).