Organization Update
May 26, 2022

The Pine Community School: Jusoor’s New Partnership with The Ghandour Family

School children lining up

Rebranded The Pine Community School (PCS) / The Ali Ghandour Schooling for Excellence and Diversity, the school will benefit from the Ali Ghandour family’s generosity and Jusoor’s expertise to continue their education mission.

Jusoor is privileged to announce that it has partnered with the Ali Ghandour family to secure the future of a primary and middle school in Lebanon. The Pine Community School (PCS) / The Ali Ghandour Schooling for Excellence and Diversity (AGSED) in the village of Derkousheh – Chouf was in dire need of funds and at risk of imminently closing its doors, leaving 120 already vulnerable children to try and find alternative schooling in a scarce environment. Thanks to the generosity and quick response of the Ali Ghandour family, a three-year plan has been put in place to provide the necessary funding to maintain the institution, restore some of its infrastructure, build the capacity of the teachers and increase the number of students and available grade levels.

For many Syrian refugee children and underprivileged Lebanese children who face challenges accessing the public education system in Lebanon, the only option to continue education and receive qualifications is to go to a low-cost private school. Whilst some of the low-cost private schools in vulnerable communities were formally subsidized by the government, given recent economic conditions in Lebanon, many are no longer funded. With an increasing number of both Syrian and Lebanese families unable to cover their basic necessities, many simply cannot afford the limited fees of an average of US$350 per year for their children's education.

Children playing in a school field

The Pine Community School (PCS) / The Ali Ghandour Schooling for Excellence and Diversity (AGSED) is one of those low-cost private schools which lost all its funding in recent months. PCS/AGSED was founded in 1953 by two pioneering women, the writer Evelyne Butrous and the educator Anisa Rawda Najjar. The goal of establishing the organization was and still is enablement and development of societies. The school aims to provide positive and happy learning and teaching environment while enhancing critical thinking, independent learning, innovation, and creativity. However, until recently, the school was functioning with minimal basic requirements.

The aim of the partnership for the next three years is to increase the capacity of the school to provide up to 250-300 vulnerable Syrian and Lebanese students with high-quality education; to assess the long-term impact on students more easily by opening to all age groups and staying in touch after graduation; and to reach an area that has a lack of sufficient schools.

The school will officially be known as The Pine Community School (PCS) / The Ali Ghandour Schooling for Excellence and Diversity (AGSED) in honor of philanthropist Ali Ghandour who was a fervent supporter of education and of promoting and protecting human rights in Lebanon.

I and the whole family are extremely happy to be part of this project and look forward to taking an active part in Jusoor’s journey of impact, and changing lives of people that have been less fortunate than us. This is the best way for us to honor our father Ali, who saw education and learning as the cornerstone of a strong and thriving society.
Fadi Ghandour

Since 2013, Jusoor has educated over 8,909 children through its Refugee Education Programme in Lebanon across three education centers and one school. Without intervention from Jusoor, the majority of these children would have most likely not have any other option but to drop out of school. Education protects these young minds from forced recruitment into armed groups, child labor, sexual exploitation, and child marriage. Education also strengthens community resilience.

For the Ghandour family, the commitment to The Pine Community School is the latest in a series of strategic social and educational investments, foremost among them Ruwwad al-Tanmiyah (2006), a regional community development initiative that spans Jordan, Lebanon, the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Egypt, and The Ali Ghandour Center for Leadership, Diversity and Civic Engagement (2019) that was forged with International College (IC), Lebanon.

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