Lebanon: My Fight for Education

14 March 2019

Nour, a refugee from Syria, is 13 years old and a student at a JRS school in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon. (Jesuit Refugee Service)

Nour, a refugee from Syria, is 13 years old and a student at a JRS school in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon. When Nour was 11, she missed one whole year of school. She was approached by a Syrian man who offered her a job. She told him that her priority was to attend school, but he promised he would help pay her family’s debts and that they would live in a house, rent-free. None of the promises were fulfilled. Nour, along with her two younger sisters, worked from 4am until 6pm, six days a week, cultivating and picking potatoes. Her family’s debt was not payed off.

It was a scary experience, and it made me long for school.
NOUR, 13 YEARS OLD, JRS STUDENT & SYRIAN REFUGEE LIVING IN LEBANON

Eventually, Nour returned to school and met with a JRS social worker who spoke with her family about the importance of keeping Nour in school. Although Nour is working hard to achieve her dream of becoming a lawyer, she continues to fear that her family will take her out of school so that she can work and assist them financially.

For millions of refugee girls, education is out of reach. Despite substantial increases in access to girls’ education around the world over the last two decades, refugee girls remain left behind.

Read our policy brief, Her Future: Challenges & Recommendations to Increase Education for Refugee Girls that calls for policymakers, donors, and other decision makers to prioritize education for refugee and displaced girls and provides recommendations to improve access.