Violence free schools for Lebanese and Syrian refugee children
The project in brief
United Nations Development Program UNDP and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees UNHCR - Lebanon
Working with the Ministry of Education, UNDP and UNHCR implemented their Violence Free Schools Initiative in 15 schools in Bekaa. Students, teachers, school administrations and parents were trained on peacebuilding. They developed Code of Conducts for Non-Violence and rehabilitated the schools to become violence-free spaces.
In 2014, signs of tensions translated into reports of bullying in a number of public schools hosting Syrian students all over Lebanon. These added to the increase in level of tensions reported in communities hosting Syrian refugees. In order to respond to this challenge, UNDP partnered with UNHCR to tackle and alleviate tensions inside schools and their immediate environment.
Main activities of the Good Practice
UNDP and UNHCR implemented their Violence Free Schools Initiative in in 15 schools in Bekaa governorate, which has a high concentration of Syrian refugees.
Students, teachers, school administrations and principles, and parents were sensitized on peace building and non-violence concepts. They formed task forces in each of the 15 schools and worked together on developing Code of Conducts for Non-Violence. Each task force then developed and implemented a series of activities inside the schools aimed at raising awareness around the Codes of Conduct and advocating for non-violence. The task forces also carried out rehabilitation of the physical structure of schools.
Ministry of Education and Higher Education
Challenges and how they were overcome
- Bureaucracy of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education
- A volatile security situation
- The sensitivity of the topic
How they were overcome
- Getting approvals from Ministry of Education and Higher Education in advance.
- Flexible format of the activities.
- Extra sessions to build trust with the staff.
Results of the Good Practice
- 347 teachers from the selected schools in Bekaa were trained on peace education and nonviolence.
- 1131 students (half Lebanese half Syrians) from the selected schools in Bekaa were sensitized on peace building, non-violence, anti-discrimination and bullying, non-violent communication skills.
- 390 parents (both Lebanese and Syrians) from schools in Bekaa were sensitized on values of non-violence, non-discrimination in education.
- 15 task forces were formed in each of the schools, composed from teachers, school administrations, students and parents’ representatives who developed 15 Codes of Conduct for Nonviolence.
- 15 soft activities (1 in each of the 15 schools in Bekaa) organized around peace and building and non-violence, reaching out to approximately 250 persons per activity.
- 15 physical projects, based on the identified issues by the Task Forces, were implemented inside the schools aiming at rehabilitating the schools to become violence-free spaces.
The training topic is essential to my job in the field of education. I’m sure it will help me better understand the dynamic in the classroom and will provide me with the essential facilitation skills to use with my students.
- Amin Mohammed Ayoub, Public school Educator, Bekaa