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May 30, 2023

Building Dreams, One Class at a Time

Mohammad aspires to become an engineer and build safe homes for impoverished people. But getting into a school was not that easy for him.
Portrait photo of Mohammad
"When I become an engineer, I want to build safe, warm homes for poor people.”

Mohammad, 12, is a young Syrian living in Jeb Jennine, West Bekaa, Lebanon. After missing several years of school, Mohammad is finally catching up thanks to Jusoor’s Refugee Education Program. He now feels that his dream is attainable: “I have always wanted to earn an education because I know that being educated will help me improve my life and the lives of my family members.”

School Cut Short

Mohammad could never complete a single school year in Syria: his schools would repeatedly close due to the conflict. In 2018, eight-year-old Mohammad fled Syria with his mother and three siblings to seek asylum in Lebanon. His mother hoped he could finally attend school regularly in their new home, but her attempts to enroll him were futile.

“Schools did not enroll Mohammad because he did not own any school certificates,” Mohammad’s mother explains. Consequently, at 9 years old Mohammad still had not finished the KG3 learning level. Determined not to give up, Mohammad’s mother moved from Beirut to Jeb Jennine in hopes of finding a better environment for her children. “The first thing I did when I arrived was to look for good schools for my children, but again, Mohammad’s enrollment seemed impossible because he had missed several years,” Mohammad’s mother says.

Soon after, Mohammad’s mother learned about Jusoor’s essential educational services offered at Chalhoub - Jusoor Jeb Jennine Center. After succeeding in his placement test, Jusoor welcomed Mohammad, who could finally begin his educational journey.

Jusoor Supports Syrians’ Right to Education

At Jusoor’s Jeb Jennine Center, Mohammad was enrolled at the primary school level. There, he received 2-year courses specifically designed to help him and other Syrian children and youth catch up on numeracy, literacy, and life skills needed to transition into Lebanese public schools successfully.

Like Mohammad, more than 800 children per year receive a second chance at education thanks to the “Back to School - Primary Education” project, which is part of Jusoor’s Refugee Education Program implemented in three centers  throughout Lebanon (Beirut Center, Jurahiya Center, and Jeb Jennine Center).

A Dedicated Student with Many Talents

Mohammad’s learning journey has had its challenges.

“I still remember receiving a failing grade on my first English language quiz,” Mohammad says. “But I did not give up. I wanted to do better and to be one of the best students in class, so I worked hard to fulfill this goal.”

Thanks to the school, Mohammad is now discovering qualities that make him proud of himself, such as being a hard worker, a dedicated learner, and a very good mathematician.

“I wake up at 7 a.m. every day, and the first thing I do is finish my homework. My time after school hours usually involves playing with my neighbors and exercising because I love sports,” Mohammad says. During his free time, Mohammad assists an interior painting technician, who teaches him the basics of applying various finishes to interiors. “I love learning this craft because it is related to building and fixing homes, something I always dreamt about doing,” Mohammad says.

Check More Stories in Our 2022 Annual Report
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