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EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian crisis

Reconnecting with his children through education


I realised that I am capable of looking after my children and providing them with the best education they need

Nader is a widowed father of 2 boys. He left his house in Saan al Aswad village in the suburbs of Homs because of the war in 2013 and has been in Lebanon since. His wife passed away in April 2019, and since then he is raising his children alone.

Having to cope with his newfound reality has been a challenge, the toughest he has ever faced: “It’s hard, I can tell you that; especially when raising two young boys. When you are at that age, you need your mother”, he says.

Nader’s two children, Abdalraheem and Abdulrahman, attend the community based early childhood education (CBECE) “I Learn From Home” program, provided by Seenaryo Organization through Back to the Future project. It allows caregivers of three to six year-olds to implement play-based learning at home. Nader, who does not have a fixed job but rather works as an on-demand construction worker, dropped out of school at grade 11 to support his family, and never completed his education.

With the support of the EU, through the Trust Fund, Back to the Future II gives around 22,600 Syrian refugee and local children in Lebanon access to informal education and protection, and a better chance to, one day, go back to the official education system.

Ever since the COVID-19 outbreak, and due to the closure of all educational centers at the Beddawi camp where he resides, Nader has had to stop working altogether to look after his boys. He was never involved in their learning before, but as the lockdown came into effect and he started spending more time at home, he began tutoring his kids and helping them complete their lessons.

He came to realize that the program was actually helping him improve his communication with his children, as all three of them were enjoying each other and spending much-needed quality time together. So he decided to plan for extra lessons with his boys.

“We had so much fun together, I thought to myself, I want more!”

He reached out to the center coordinator for support and managed to plan two to three extra lessons a week. He is now a full time caregiver and dedicates almost his entire day to educating them. He encourages all fathers to follow in his footsteps and do the same.

“It has been a very difficult journey to be honest, but extremely rewarding. I realised that I am capable of looking after my children and providing them with the best education they need.”