Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) have been working around the clock to ensure that refugees and displaced children and youth can exercise their right to quality, relevant education.
Mohammad, 13, is one of these children. He is originally from Hama in Syria but fled to Lebanon together with his family six years ago. Now he lives with his parents, three sisters and three brothers in a small apartment outside Tripoli, North Lebanon.
“Although it has been six years since we arrived here, I still wish we can go back every single day. We could play football as much as we wanted in front of our home and we had a huge yard where no one bothered us,” says Mohammad. “In Lebanon we can never finish a football game, the neighbours always get annoyed and ask us to go back home. Now the situation is worse, we can’t do anything.”
Refugee children are bearing the blunt
When the activities stopped due to the Covid-19 outbreak Mohammad and his brothers were very upset. Going to the NRC learning centre, meeting their friends, and learning was part of their daily routines. “It’s not easy to stay at home, I feel down but there is nothing we can do,” says Mohammad with hesitation. 
The Corona crisis has led to closed schools and disrupted the education to more than 1.5 billion learners. Refugees and displaced children and youth are bearing the blunt. Children and young people in displacement have often missed out on years of education already, due to war and conflict, and without any help, school closures due to Covid-19 will make them fall behind even further. 
“To meet the needs of Mohammad and 1,200 other children enrolled at NRC learning centres in Lebanon we are now implementing remote learning modalities, including via communication platforms such as WhatsApp, combined with follow-up phone calls to provide guidance and support and to safely refer people to other specialised organisations,” says Rayan El Baf, one of NRC’s child protection technical officers in North Lebanon.  
Due to the lockdown and fear of spreading the virus our colleagues are not able to visits the children and their parents. It is Mohammad’s mother, Fatima, that has sent us the photos, and it is our colleagues in Lebanon that have interviewed Mohammed and his mother.
“The remote learning has benefited my children a lot. Instead of leaving them behind during this period, NRC’s remote learning methods show us that NRC continues to care about the education of our children and appreciate their efforts to learn. It helps them connect with their inner selves, it gives them courage and strength to know their own worth,” says Fatima, Mohammad’s mother.
Nationwide lockdown 

On the 15th of March, Lebanon declared a state of general mobilization in an attempt to control the spread of the coronavirus. With the nationwide lockdown, the basic survival and protection of the most vulnerable communities in Lebanon has become a critical issue. However, despite the challenges and to minimize the risk of exposure to beneficiaries and its frontline staff, NRC Lebanon continues its essential service delivery by only implementing critical lifesaving activities on-site and has tailored other programme interventions through different modalities to specifically support the national Covid-19 response.  

Stay and deliver
“Although our learning centres were closed due to the Covid-19 situation, we never stopped delivering educational messages to the children,” says Rayan El Baf. “We regularly contacted them and their parents over the phone to check on their wellbeing, raise awareness on the situation and share learning materials,” she says.  
Since the coronavirus lockdown, Mohammad spends most of his time at home. He either focuses on the NRC learning materials, revises the lessons, or plays with his siblings. He also sometimes helps his father at work, who sells coffee for a living.  

Caring teachers

“My teacher Rouwayda always supports us to solve the exercise when we need help. She is caring and fair. Our teachers make us feel at ease and insist that we understand the lessons before leaving the classroom,” says Mohammad.  

Mohammad’s mother is grateful for the support NRC gives her children. “They are always so happy when talking to the staff and are able to express themselves easily.”

“The remote teaching allows my children to revise and remember the information they received in the classes and bring some variety to the daily routine during the coronavirus lockdown. This is not only helping them to learn but also to feel more positive about the situation,” Fatima says. “The remote learning and support given over the regular calls also helps me to communicate better with my children”, she concludes.  

New ways and solutions 

“Though adopting remote learning modalities, we have been able to develop a positive bond between us and the parents are becoming more involved in their children’s education. Luckily, we have not faced any difficult issues with the remote learning, and we are always trying to find new ways and solutions to deal with any challenges that might arise. However, the hardest challenge is perhaps that we cannot answer the children when they ask us when they can come back to our centres to see us and their friends,” Rayan concludes.  
 
“The learning centre was a place where I felt safe. I miss both my friends and the teachers. But most of all I would like to return to Syria,” Mohammad says. 
Photo: Private
Libanon

Mobiltelefonen ble redningen

Slik sikrer vi retten til utdanning for flyktningbarn i Libanon under koronakrisen.

Siden koronautbruddet har Flyktninghjelpen jobbet døgnet rundt for å sikre at barn og ungdom på flukt kan fortsette utdanningen.

Mohammad (13) er et av disse barna. Han er opprinnelig fra Hama i Syria, men flyktet til Libanon sammen med familien for seks år siden. Nå bor han sammen med foreldrene, tre søstre og tre brødre i en liten leilighet utenfor Tripoli, nord i Libanon.

På grunn av smittefaren og nedstenging av skoler og læringssentre, er ikke Flyktninghjelpens ansatte i stand til å ha direkte kontakt med barna og foreldrene. Det er Mohammeds mor, Fatima, som har sendt oss bildene, og det er våre kollegaer i Libanon som har intervjuet Mohammad og moren hans på telefon.

– Selv om det er seks år siden vi kom hit, lengter jeg tilbake til hjemlandet mitt hver eneste dag. Vi kunne spille fotball så mye vi ville utenfor huset vårt, og vi hadde en stort hage der ingen plaget oss, sier Mohammad. – Her kan vi aldri fullføre en fotballkamp. Naboene blir alltid irriterte og ber oss om å slutte å sparke fotball og reise hjem til Syria.

Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) have been working around the clock to ensure that refugees and displaced children and youth can exercise their right to quality, relevant education.
Mohammad, 13, is one of these children. He is originally from Hama in Syria but fled to Lebanon together with his family six years ago. Now he lives with his parents, three sisters and three brothers in a small apartment outside Tripoli, North Lebanon.
“Although it has been six years since we arrived here, I still wish we can go back every single day. We could play football as much as we wanted in front of our home and we had a huge yard where no one bothered us,” says Mohammad. “In Lebanon we can never finish a football game, the neighbours always get annoyed and ask us to go back home. Now the situation is worse, we can’t do anything.”
Refugee children are bearing the blunt
When the activities stopped due to the Covid-19 outbreak Mohammad and his brothers were very upset. Going to the NRC learning centre, meeting their friends, and learning was part of their daily routines. “It’s not easy to stay at home, I feel down but there is nothing we can do,” says Mohammad with hesitation. 
The Corona crisis has led to closed schools and disrupted the education to more than 1.5 billion learners. Refugees and displaced children and youth are bearing the blunt. Children and young people in displacement have often missed out on years of education already, due to war and conflict, and without any help, school closures due to Covid-19 will make them fall behind even further. 
“To meet the needs of Mohammad and 1,200 other children enrolled at NRC learning centres in Lebanon we are now implementing remote learning modalities, including via communication platforms such as WhatsApp, combined with follow-up phone calls to provide guidance and support and to safely refer people to other specialised organisations,” says Rayan El Baf, one of NRC’s child protection technical officers in North Lebanon.  
Due to the lockdown and fear of spreading the virus our colleagues are not able to visits the children and their parents. It is Mohammad’s mother, Fatima, that has sent us the photos, and it is our colleagues in Lebanon that have interviewed Mohammed and his mother.
“The remote learning has benefited my children a lot. Instead of leaving them behind during this period, NRC’s remote learning methods show us that NRC continues to care about the education of our children and appreciate their efforts to learn. It helps them connect with their inner selves, it gives them courage and strength to know their own worth,” says Fatima, Mohammad’s mother.
Nationwide lockdown 

On the 15th of March, Lebanon declared a state of general mobilization in an attempt to control the spread of the coronavirus. With the nationwide lockdown, the basic survival and protection of the most vulnerable communities in Lebanon has become a critical issue. However, despite the challenges and to minimize the risk of exposure to beneficiaries and its frontline staff, NRC Lebanon continues its essential service delivery by only implementing critical lifesaving activities on-site and has tailored other programme interventions through different modalities to specifically support the national Covid-19 response.  

Stay and deliver
“Although our learning centres were closed due to the Covid-19 situation, we never stopped delivering educational messages to the children,” says Rayan El Baf. “We regularly contacted them and their parents over the phone to check on their wellbeing, raise awareness on the situation and share learning materials,” she says.  
Since the coronavirus lockdown, Mohammad spends most of his time at home. He either focuses on the NRC learning materials, revises the lessons, or plays with his siblings. He also sometimes helps his father at work, who sells coffee for a living.  

Caring teachers

“My teacher Rouwayda always supports us to solve the exercise when we need help. She is caring and fair. Our teachers make us feel at ease and insist that we understand the lessons before leaving the classroom,” says Mohammad.  

Mohammad’s mother is grateful for the support NRC gives her children. “They are always so happy when talking to the staff and are able to express themselves easily.”

“The remote teaching allows my children to revise and remember the information they received in the classes and bring some variety to the daily routine during the coronavirus lockdown. This is not only helping them to learn but also to feel more positive about the situation,” Fatima says. “The remote learning and support given over the regular calls also helps me to communicate better with my children”, she concludes.  

New ways and solutions 

“Though adopting remote learning modalities, we have been able to develop a positive bond between us and the parents are becoming more involved in their children’s education. Luckily, we have not faced any difficult issues with the remote learning, and we are always trying to find new ways and solutions to deal with any challenges that might arise. However, the hardest challenge is perhaps that we cannot answer the children when they ask us when they can come back to our centres to see us and their friends,” Rayan concludes.  
 
“The learning centre was a place where I felt safe. I miss both my friends and the teachers. But most of all I would like to return to Syria,” Mohammad says. 
Photo: Private
Les billedteksten Mohammad og brødrene gikk alle på Flyktninghjelpens læringssenter før senteret måtte stenge på grunn av smittefaren. Foto tatt av Mohammeds mor.

Utdanningskrise også før koronaen rammet

Ni år inn i Syria-krisen har Libanon en av de største konsentrasjonene av flyktninger per innbygger i verden: Om lag 900.000 syriske flyktninger og rundt 29.000 palestinske flyktninger fra Syria. I tillegg kommer om lag 500.000 palestinere og deres etterkommere som flyktet fra Palestina etter 1948.

Til tross for betydelig innsats fra landets myndigheter, ulike giverland og hjelpeorganisasjoner, mangler mange syriske flyktningbarn i Libanon utdanningstilbud. Tall fra FN viser at over halvparten av flyktningbarna mellom tre og atten år er uten skoletilbud.

Flyktningbarna betaler prisen

Koronakrisen har ført til stengte skoler og satt utdanningen på vent for tusenvis av elever i Libanon. Mange barn og unge på flukt har allerede gått glipp av mange års utdanning på grunn av krig og konflikt. Uten hjelp risikerer de å havne enda lenger etter.

Da undervisningen stoppet på grunn av smittefaren, ble Mohammad og brødrene hans veldig opprørte. Å dra til Flyktninghjelpens læringssenteret hver morgen, møte venner og delta i undervisningen var en del av deres daglige rutiner og noe de gledet seg til.

– Det er ikke lett å være hjemme i den trange leiligheten. Vi kjeder oss og har lite å ta oss til. Men det er ikke noe vi kan gjøre med det, sier Mohammad.

Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) have been working around the clock to ensure that refugees and displaced children and youth can exercise their right to quality, relevant education.
Mohammad, 13, is one of these children. He is originally from Hama in Syria but fled to Lebanon together with his family six years ago. Now he lives with his parents, three sisters and three brothers in a small apartment outside Tripoli, North Lebanon.
“Although it has been six years since we arrived here, I still wish we can go back every single day. We could play football as much as we wanted in front of our home and we had a huge yard where no one bothered us,” says Mohammad. “In Lebanon we can never finish a football game, the neighbours always get annoyed and ask us to go back home. Now the situation is worse, we can’t do anything.”
Refugee children are bearing the blunt
When the activities stopped due to the Covid-19 outbreak Mohammad and his brothers were very upset. Going to the NRC learning centre, meeting their friends, and learning was part of their daily routines. “It’s not easy to stay at home, I feel down but there is nothing we can do,” says Mohammad with hesitation. 
The Corona crisis has led to closed schools and disrupted the education to more than 1.5 billion learners. Refugees and displaced children and youth are bearing the blunt. Children and young people in displacement have often missed out on years of education already, due to war and conflict, and without any help, school closures due to Covid-19 will make them fall behind even further. 
“To meet the needs of Mohammad and 1,200 other children enrolled at NRC learning centres in Lebanon we are now implementing remote learning modalities, including via communication platforms such as WhatsApp, combined with follow-up phone calls to provide guidance and support and to safely refer people to other specialised organisations,” says Rayan El Baf, one of NRC’s child protection technical officers in North Lebanon.  
Due to the lockdown and fear of spreading the virus our colleagues are not able to visits the children and their parents. It is Mohammad’s mother, Fatima, that has sent us the photos, and it is our colleagues in Lebanon that have interviewed Mohammed and his mother.
“The remote learning has benefited my children a lot. Instead of leaving them behind during this period, NRC’s remote learning methods show us that NRC continues to care about the education of our children and appreciate their efforts to learn. It helps them connect with their inner selves, it gives them courage and strength to know their own worth,” says Fatima, Mohammad’s mother.
Nationwide lockdown 

On the 15th of March, Lebanon declared a state of general mobilization in an attempt to control the spread of the coronavirus. With the nationwide lockdown, the basic survival and protection of the most vulnerable communities in Lebanon has become a critical issue. However, despite the challenges and to minimize the risk of exposure to beneficiaries and its frontline staff, NRC Lebanon continues its essential service delivery by only implementing critical lifesaving activities on-site and has tailored other programme interventions through different modalities to specifically support the national Covid-19 response.  

Stay and deliver
“Although our learning centres were closed due to the Covid-19 situation, we never stopped delivering educational messages to the children,” says Rayan El Baf. “We regularly contacted them and their parents over the phone to check on their wellbeing, raise awareness on the situation and share learning materials,” she says.  
Since the coronavirus lockdown, Mohammad spends most of his time at home. He either focuses on the NRC learning materials, revises the lessons, or plays with his siblings. He also sometimes helps his father at work, who sells coffee for a living.  

Caring teachers

“My teacher Rouwayda always supports us to solve the exercise when we need help. She is caring and fair. Our teachers make us feel at ease and insist that we understand the lessons before leaving the classroom,” says Mohammad.  

Mohammad’s mother is grateful for the support NRC gives her children. “They are always so happy when talking to the staff and are able to express themselves easily.”

“The remote teaching allows my children to revise and remember the information they received in the classes and bring some variety to the daily routine during the coronavirus lockdown. This is not only helping them to learn but also to feel more positive about the situation,” Fatima says. “The remote learning and support given over the regular calls also helps me to communicate better with my children”, she concludes.  

New ways and solutions 

“Though adopting remote learning modalities, we have been able to develop a positive bond between us and the parents are becoming more involved in their children’s education. Luckily, we have not faced any difficult issues with the remote learning, and we are always trying to find new ways and solutions to deal with any challenges that might arise. However, the hardest challenge is perhaps that we cannot answer the children when they ask us when they can come back to our centres to see us and their friends,” Rayan concludes.  
 
“The learning centre was a place where I felt safe. I miss both my friends and the teachers. But most of all I would like to return to Syria,” Mohammad says. 
Photo: Private
Les billedteksten Mohammad gjør leksene sine. Foto: Mohammads mor

Fjernundervisning

– For å dekke behovene til Mohammad og 1.200 andre barn som går på våre læringssentre i Libanon, har vi satt i gang fjernundervisning. Vi bruker mobiltelefoner og WhatsApp, kombinert med oppfølgende telefonsamtaler for å gi veiledning og støtte, forteller Rayan El Baf, en av Flyktninghjelpens ansatte som jobber med å sikre barn skolegang i Libanon.

“To meet the needs of Mohammad and 1,200 other children enrolled at NRC learning centres in Lebanon we are now implementing remote learning using communication platforms such as WhatsApp, combined with follow-up phone calls to provide guidance and support,” says Rayan El Baf, one of NRC’s child protection technical officers in north Lebanon. Photo: NRC
Les billedteksten Rayan El Baf, en av Flyktninghjelpens ansatte som jobber med å sikre barn skolegang og beskyttelse i Libanon. Foto: Flyktninghjelpen

– Fjernundervisningen har blitt redningen for meg og barna, sier Fatima, Mohammeds mor. – I stedet for å overlate dem til seg selv i denne vanskelige tiden, har Flyktninghjelpen virkelig vist at de fortsetter å bry seg om barnas utdanning og liv. Hjelpen både barna og jeg får gjøre hverdagen lettere. Barna blir mer harmoniske og får bedre selvtillit.

Med støtte fra EUs humanitære hjelpeorganisasjon (ECHO) gir vi også Mohammad og søsknene psykososial støtte gjennom programmet Bedre læring. Slik blir de bedre i stand til å takle psykisk stress og den utfordrende situasjonen med nedstenging av skoler og samfunn.

– Jeg elsker å gjøre puste- og balanseøvelser. Selv om det er litt vanskelig, hjelper de forskjellige teknikkene meg til å roe ned og redusere stresset, sier Mohammad.

– Jeg klarer også bedre å fokusere på det jeg skal gjøre. Jeg har klart å fortsette med fotballtreningen, og jeg drømmer fortsatt om å bli profesjonell fotballspiller, legger han til.

Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) have been working around the clock to ensure that refugees and displaced children and youth can exercise their right to quality, relevant education.
Mohammad, 13, is one of these children. He is originally from Hama in Syria but fled to Lebanon together with his family six years ago. Now he lives with his parents, three sisters and three brothers in a small apartment outside Tripoli, North Lebanon.
“Although it has been six years since we arrived here, I still wish we can go back every single day. We could play football as much as we wanted in front of our home and we had a huge yard where no one bothered us,” says Mohammad. “In Lebanon we can never finish a football game, the neighbours always get annoyed and ask us to go back home. Now the situation is worse, we can’t do anything.”
Refugee children are bearing the blunt
When the activities stopped due to the Covid-19 outbreak Mohammad and his brothers were very upset. Going to the NRC learning centre, meeting their friends, and learning was part of their daily routines. “It’s not easy to stay at home, I feel down but there is nothing we can do,” says Mohammad with hesitation. 
The Corona crisis has led to closed schools and disrupted the education to more than 1.5 billion learners. Refugees and displaced children and youth are bearing the blunt. Children and young people in displacement have often missed out on years of education already, due to war and conflict, and without any help, school closures due to Covid-19 will make them fall behind even further. 
“To meet the needs of Mohammad and 1,200 other children enrolled at NRC learning centres in Lebanon we are now implementing remote learning modalities, including via communication platforms such as WhatsApp, combined with follow-up phone calls to provide guidance and support and to safely refer people to other specialised organisations,” says Rayan El Baf, one of NRC’s child protection technical officers in North Lebanon.  
Due to the lockdown and fear of spreading the virus our colleagues are not able to visits the children and their parents. It is Mohammad’s mother, Fatima, that has sent us the photos, and it is our colleagues in Lebanon that have interviewed Mohammed and his mother.
“The remote learning has benefited my children a lot. Instead of leaving them behind during this period, NRC’s remote learning methods show us that NRC continues to care about the education of our children and appreciate their efforts to learn. It helps them connect with their inner selves, it gives them courage and strength to know their own worth,” says Fatima, Mohammad’s mother.
Nationwide lockdown 

On the 15th of March, Lebanon declared a state of general mobilization in an attempt to control the spread of the coronavirus. With the nationwide lockdown, the basic survival and protection of the most vulnerable communities in Lebanon has become a critical issue. However, despite the challenges and to minimize the risk of exposure to beneficiaries and its frontline staff, NRC Lebanon continues its essential service delivery by only implementing critical lifesaving activities on-site and has tailored other programme interventions through different modalities to specifically support the national Covid-19 response.  

Stay and deliver
“Although our learning centres were closed due to the Covid-19 situation, we never stopped delivering educational messages to the children,” says Rayan El Baf. “We regularly contacted them and their parents over the phone to check on their wellbeing, raise awareness on the situation and share learning materials,” she says.  
Since the coronavirus lockdown, Mohammad spends most of his time at home. He either focuses on the NRC learning materials, revises the lessons, or plays with his siblings. He also sometimes helps his father at work, who sells coffee for a living.  

Caring teachers

“My teacher Rouwayda always supports us to solve the exercise when we need help. She is caring and fair. Our teachers make us feel at ease and insist that we understand the lessons before leaving the classroom,” says Mohammad.  

Mohammad’s mother is grateful for the support NRC gives her children. “They are always so happy when talking to the staff and are able to express themselves easily.”

“The remote teaching allows my children to revise and remember the information they received in the classes and bring some variety to the daily routine during the coronavirus lockdown. This is not only helping them to learn but also to feel more positive about the situation,” Fatima says. “The remote learning and support given over the regular calls also helps me to communicate better with my children”, she concludes.  

New ways and solutions 

“Though adopting remote learning modalities, we have been able to develop a positive bond between us and the parents are becoming more involved in their children’s education. Luckily, we have not faced any difficult issues with the remote learning, and we are always trying to find new ways and solutions to deal with any challenges that might arise. However, the hardest challenge is perhaps that we cannot answer the children when they ask us when they can come back to our centres to see us and their friends,” Rayan concludes.  
 
“The learning centre was a place where I felt safe. I miss both my friends and the teachers. But most of all I would like to return to Syria,” Mohammad says. 
Photo: Private
Les billedteksten Mohammad sammen med faren og søsken. Foto; Muhammeds mor.

Hjelpen kommer frem

– Selv om læringssentrene våre ble stengt på grunn av koronakrisen, sluttet vi aldri å undervise og følge opp barna, sier Rayan El Baf. – Vi har regelmessig telefonkontakt med både barna og foreldrene for å høre hvordan de har det, følge opp undervisningen og gi råd og veiledning.

Etter at Flyktninghjelpens læringssenter stengte på grunn av smittefaren tilbringer Mohammad mesteparten av tiden sin hjemme. Han følger fjernundervisningen, gjør lekser og leker med søsknene sine. Noen ganger hjelper han også faren, som tjener penger på å selge kaffe på gata.

– Fjernundervisningen er gull verdt. Den sikrer videre læring, sørger for gode rutiner og bringer med seg masse positivitet inn i en ellers vanskelig hverdag, sier Fatima.

Nye løsninger

– Selv om vi tar i bruk fjernundervisning, klarer vi å opprettholde og utvikle nære og positive bånd til barna, og foreldrene er blitt mer engasjert og involvert i barnas utdanning. Vi prøver alltid å finne nye måter og løsninger for å håndtere eventuelle utfordringer som måtte oppstå. Imidlertid er den vanskeligste utfordringen kanskje at vi ikke kan svare når barna spør oss om når de kan komme tilbake til læringssenteret for å se oss og vennene sine igjen, sier Rayan.

– Læringssenteret var et sted hvor jeg følte meg trygg. Jeg savner både vennene mine og lærerne. Men mest av alt ønsker jeg å returnere til Syria, avslutter Mohammad.

Les mer om vårt arbeid i Libanon og våre utdanningsprogram.