Back to the Future: Finding My Voice in Lockdown

Oct. 1, 2020

Girl at home due to coronavirus lockdown getting education at home - War Child
Learning in the midst of lockdown is a challenge for refugee children in Lebanon - particularly those with special educational needs. Find out how War Child is working with other leading NGOs to meet the urgent learning needs of all children through the Back to the Future project.

Learning opportunities

Zahra (26) escaped Syria’s civil war to find refuge in Lebanon in 2013. One year later she met her husband Rami and is now the proud mother of four children - including daughters Khadija (5) and Israa (4). The family are now happily settled in Sidon in the south of Lebanon.

Israa has a speaking impairment and is identified as a student with special needs. Thanks to the services currently provided by Back to the Future - together with our local partners the Al Moasat Association - Israa started attending speech and occupational therapy sessions.

Both girls’ learning opportunities came to a temporary halt in February after the Lebanese authorities declared a state of emergency in an attempt to control the spread of the coronavirus. The Back to the Future coalition members responded immediately - and adapted the educational activities at the heart of the programme to be delivered remotely across Lebanon.

Meeting special learning needs

Our efforts to meet the learning needs of children living in lockdown have seen us team up with education specialists Seenaryo to create ‘I Learn from Home’ - an app-based, eight-week distance learning programme. The programme sees parents and caregivers monitor children’s learning progress as they complete each course module.

Israa and Khadija have both been taking part in remote activities in recent weeks - and have both made remarkable progress. The girls regularly complete their exercises without their mother’s help. Israa can now pronounce letters which she previously found difficult. Khadija is overcoming her shyness and now showing great interest and enthusiasm in her learning.

Zahra has noticed the progress her daughters are making. “Since they’ve started taking part in the learning activities, their lives have changed dramatically,” she said. “They’re now motivated and interested and it has given them the opportunity to meet lots of new friends.”

“The progress they are making is obvious and it makes me happy each time I see them growing. Thank you for changing my daughters’ lives"

Back to the Future is funded by European Union in Lebanon, through the EU Madad Fund, and implemented by AVSI, Terre des Hommes Italy and War Child Holland.