For so many people fleeing the war in Syria, Lebanon became a place of refuge. Tens of thousands of refugees crossed the borders, including the parents of 7-year-old Fariha.
Although safety from war was found, life was far from easy. One of 7 siblings, Fariha and her family live in a single room at the entrance to a building. There are no windows and sewage leaks through the ceiling of the room. Access to basic public services is very difficult for these refugee families. Many children are not able to attend state-run educational provisions and so, are left on the fringes.
Our Orphan’s Promise partner projects have been able to bridge this gap and offer an alternative solution to their educational needs. The H.O.P.E. Educational program is a non-formal educational provision that specifically reaches out to the refugee community – including Fariha. As part of the program, children receive lessons in math, English, Arabic, computers and other basic skills. There has also been an incredible open door to share the Gospel and learn Biblical principles!
On the first day of school, Fariha was very shy and didn’t want to participate in class. She spent the whole day crying and asking for her sister, who was in the older class. Her teacher tried to comfort her by taking her to see her sister to make her feel better.
By spending time and building relationship with Fariha, the teacher realized that Fariha needed to feel encouraged, loved and special. With the extra support, kind words and love Fariha started adapting in the class. She began offering help to her teacher and classmates. She started to be excited byy the learning and felt that she belonged to the group. She became very enthusiastic to learn, to read and write and wanted to be the first to answer questions.
Fariah continued to work very hard and started to grow both academically and socially. She has shown a lot of improvement and participation in her class activities. In addition to her social and academic improvement, Fariha has grown spiritually too. She is showing a keen interest in the Bible studies, especially after she heard stories about Jesus’ love.
When we spoke to Fariha’s family they said that she has “changed a lot for the better.” They had noticed her enthusiasm to open her school bag to show them the tasks she did at school and the words she learned to read and write.
We are so proud of Fariah and the distance she has come in such a short time. It is so exciting to see green shoots begin to break out from the seeds that are sown.