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Fatima dreams of being a doctor | by DFID - UK Department for International Development
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Fatima dreams of being a doctor

Fatima (white hijab) is 12 years old. She left Syria in 2012. She dreams of being a doctor.


She joins fellow Syrian and Lebanese students together in classes at the Mohammed Shamel mixed Elementary public school in Tariq el Jdideh, Beirut, Lebanon.


The school currently supports 759 students, of which 198 are Syrian.


Fatin Edlby, Director at Mohammed Shamel mixed Elementary public school, says:


“A child is a child, it doesn't matter where they are from.”


In 2015, through a unique collaboration between the Lebanese government, donors like the UK, the UN and NGOs, 200,000 Syrian refugees were enrolled into Lebanese schools.


“No country in history has been able to absorb this proportion of refugee children into its public education system,” says Amanda McLoughlin, Head of the UK's Department for International Development in Lebanon.




Today, around 500,000 Syrian refugee children live in Lebanon - forced to flee the crisis in their homeland, and to leave their school behind.


But in the last year alone, more than 200,000 were brought back into school – thanks to a Lebanese government enrolment programme, backed by UK aid and UNICEF.


There is more to be done: we must ensure all refugee children get an education to avoid a lost generation of Syrian children.


Getting every Syrian refugee and host community child back into education by the end of the 2016-17 school year is a key aim of the Supporting Syria and the Region conference on 4 February. The conference is being co-hosted in London by the UK, Germany, Kuwait, Norway, and the United Nations.


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Picture: Adam Patterson/Panos/DFID




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Taken on January 14, 2016