George and Amal Clooney will help send nearly 3,000 Syrian refugee children to school this year in Lebanon, where Amal was born.
The Clooney Foundation for Justice is set to work with Google and HP to help UNICEF and the Lebanese ministry of education to open seven public schools for the children.
“Thousands of young Syrian refugees are at risk - the risk of never being a productive part of society. Formal education can help change that,” said the couple, who celebrated the birth of their twins in the UK last month.
“We don’t want to lose an entire generation because they had the bad luck of being born in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
A $2.25 million partnership between the Clooney Foundation and Google, and a $1 million technology grant from HP, will pay for transportation, school supplies, computers, content, curriculum and teacher training. (HP is also a partner of Global Citizen).
UK Labour MP Stella Creasy tweeted: ‘Extraordinary - the Clooneys personally helping the equivalent of ten times more unaccompanied refugee children than the UK government…”
Creasy was referring to the fact the government is helping 200 unaccompanied child refugees in the UK.
However, as of February, the government estimated that “more than half a million” children in Syria were in education as a result of UK aid, while 75,000 have been enrolled in schools in Jordan and Lebanon.
Extraordinary - the clooneys personally helping the equivalent of ten times more unaccompanied refugee children than the UK government … https://t.co/ZeYl7sARzY— stellacreasy (@stellacreasy) August 1, 2017
The UK’s International Development Secretary Priti Patel at the time welcomed the progress, but warned that international efforts must be redoubled if the humanitarian pledges made at the 2016 London Syria Conference were to be delivered.
More than 1 million Syrians, including 500,000 children, are registered as refugees in Lebanon, having fled the six-year war in neighboring Syria.
UNICEF said today that close to 200,000 of the Syrian refugee children living in Lebanon are not able to go to school. Human Rights Watch says the number of out-of-school children in the country is more than 250,000.
More than 330,000 people have been killed in Syria since the war began in March 2011.
Global Citizen supports the Education Cannot Wait campaign. You can take action to help children gain access to education here.