How HP and the Clooney Foundation Are Working to Get Syrian Refugees in School
Without access to education, millions of Syrian children are at risk of becoming a lost generation.
Around the world, 68.5 million people have been forcibly displaced due to violent conflict, persecution, and climate change.
Among them are approximately 12 million Syrians who have had to leave their homes since the country became embroiled in a civil war 2011. More than 5.6 million of those Syrians have been forced to flee their homeland altogether, seeking safety elsewhere in the world.
Syria is now the top country of origin for refugees in the world today. And, unfortunately, the conflict shows no signs of letting up any time soon.
Though Syrian refugees have found safe places all over the world, the vast majority of them are being hosted by Lebanon, Turkey, and Jordan. More than 1 million Syrian refugees now call Lebanon home. The country now hosts the most refugees per capita of any country in the world, which has made it challenging for Lebanon to provide education to the many refugee families and children now working to rebuild their lives.
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Without access to education these children are at risk of becoming a lost generation, but — as the recently-released short film, A Generation, Found, shows — they don’t have to be.
The film, narrated by George Clooney, was released on Oct. 11, International Day of the Girl, and follows the story of two young Syrian girls living in refugee settlements in Lebanon. Their lives have been changed as a result of educational opportunities provided by HP, the Clooney Foundation for Justice, UNICEF, and Google.org.
“I missed going to school so much,” 12-year-old Marah said. “My Lebanese friends were going to school, and I wasn’t. I felt like there was something wrong with my life.”
Marah and thousands of other young Syrian refugees have been able to return to school thanks to the unique partnership between these companies and organizations. Nine public schools across Lebanon are now using new HP Education Edition PC laptops to enrich their students’ learning.
The program, now in its first full year of deployment, is reaching students nearly 3,500 Syrian refugee students, as well as thousands of Lebanese students and teachers, from Beirut to the Beqaa Valley. In addition to providing laptops, HP is also providing teacher training and curriculum planning support through partners like Learning Equality.
Through this short film and its initiatives, HP is not only celebrating and amplifying the voices of strong girls and refugees around the world, like Marah, but also working to shift mindsets and reinvent the way people think about refugees.