There are a handful of donors who have been by our side on our journey to “invest in Syria’s children and youth for a better tomorrow” and who have made a transformational impact along the way. Today, Jusoor would like to express our deep gratitude to the Latter-day Saint Charities, the humanitarian arm of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who have been one of these partners since 2017. During this time, Latter-day Saint Charities have provided multi-year support to fund our core projects in the Refugee Education Program in Lebanon providing 5,083 of the hardest to reach children with quality education, psychosocial support, and hope for the future.
Since 1985, Latter-day Saint Charities and its affiliates have given incredible US$2.5 billion worth of assistance in 199 countries and territories. Their purpose is to relieve suffering, foster self-reliance and provide opportunities for service, regardless of race, religious affiliation or nationality. Largely run with volunteer labor, their programs support food security, clean water, international community projects, emergency response, immunization, maternal and newborn care, refugee response, vision care, wheelchairs, and U.S and Canada Community projects.
Latter-day Saint Charities offer support to refugees and displaced persons around the world. We respond to people in need by supporting immediate relief, long-term aid, and resettlement assistance. To accomplish this work, we have joined with a number of trusted and effective local and global partners. We were introduced to Jusoor several years ago, reviewed their work, and visited several of their programs throughout Lebanon. Confident in their capabilities, we are pleased to have supported several projects addressing education, mental health, and other basic needs. Jusoor does remarkable grassroots work while maintaining high-quality organizational standards.
Brett McDonald, Latter-day Saint Charities’ Manager, Refugee Sustained Support Initiative
We are so grateful for the generosity of Latter-day Saint Charities who have enabled us to provide thousands of out-of-school Syrian refugee children in Lebanon with a pathway back into education. Through targeted and practical catch-up education, life skills, psychosocial support and healthy snacks, the children are supported to cope with complex trauma and toxic stress and to prepare for formal school to give them the best chance in life. When asked about what the partnership with Latter-day Saint Charities meant to her, our Academic Director, Suha Tutunji had this to say:
Latter-day Saint Charities’ support to our Refugee Education Program has given our beautiful students tremendous hope and access to a much better future. Latter-day Saint Charities have managed to nourish the minds, bodies, and souls of some of the most vulnerable children in Lebanon.
Latter-day Saint Charities support three education centers in Jeb Janine, Jurahiya (in the Beqaa Valley which hosts more than 38.6% of Syrian refugees in Lebanon) and Beirut, educating around 1,200 children annually, with over 200 additional children in the homework club, 38 teachers, and 10 staff. This has a profound impact on both the children and their families meaning the indirect beneficiaries are around 6,000 annually. Their donation enables us to pay for daily nutritious snacks, school supplies, transport to and from school, a psychosocial counselor, and essential upgrades and maintenance to ensure a safe and well-equipped school.
This year, Latter-day Saint Charities have supported a new pilot, Azima, which is an innovative Whatsapp education program designed for 100 long-term out-of-school children (Syrian refugees and vulnerable host-community members) aged 9-14. Azima was nominated as one of the best online learning programs for refugees by UNHCR, and selected by EdTech Hub. Critically, the program is completely flexible so that children with work, domestic responsibilities, or limited access to WiFi or electricity can access education at any time. These children have been out of school for too long to re-enter formal education and many are working in basic labor leaving them very vulnerable and with little hope of improving their situation. The curriculum will include essential numeracy, literacy, and practical skills to enable them to access opportunities such as Technical and Vocational Training (TVET) and apprenticeships.