Comprehensive school reaches out to Lebanese and Syrian refugee children

Newman College in Harlesden, North London, has committed all of the school’s fundraising activities for two years to an Afterschool Program in the Beirut suburbs, a partnership between UK-based The Constantinian Charitable Trust (TCCT) and their partner CARITAS Lebanon. Its aim is to prepare Syrian refugee and disadvantaged Lebanese children, irrespective of faith or gender and in serious danger of dropping-out of school, for eventual vocational/technical training or higher education by ensuring their continued state education. The 3-year programme of after-school teaching and planned activities (currently held in four centres with a total enrolment of 400) in Beirut, aims to promote their rights, provide protection, and give hope to their families and neighbourhood.  The Trust hopes to raise an initial £325,000 for the Dekwaneh Centre, South East Beirut and the Ain El- Remmaneh Centre, South Beirut to secure their funding for three years.

 

CARITAS Lebanon was founded in 1976 at the beginning of the Lebanese civil war by the Catholic Assembly of Patriarchs and Bishops in Lebanon. It is a member of “Caritas Internationalis” a network of 160 Catholic organisations worldwide. The Afterschool Programme began in 2005 with a pilot project called ‘Evening Studies’, homework support for disadvantaged children at risk of dropping-out of school.

Professor Ian Linden, the chairman of the TCCT has responded: “I was very moved, as were the other Trustees of The Constantinian Charitable Trust, that the Newman College Governors will be directing the school’s fundraising activities in support for the Afterschool Programme.  My hope is that this new relationship between the children attending Newman College and the disadvantaged Lebanese children and Syrian refugees attending the programme will be of real mutual benefit by further nurturing in Newman College students the practice of solidarity that Pope Francis speaks about so often”.

 

The College’s Headteacher, and TCCT trustee, Danny Coyle stated: "I am delighted that the superb work of this school over the last few years in supporting refugees from Syria here in Brent, as well as from other parts of the world, will now embrace children in Lebanon. I am convinced that the relationships that will develop as a result of this project will be of great benefit to all these children and their communities."

 

The Chairman of the school Governors, Paul O’Shea, writes: “Both Newman College and the TCCT project have thus far been involved in supporting Syrian children displaced and disturbed by terrible conflict in their country, albeit in different places and different ways. This speaks to the solidarity to which we are called in supporting those suffering the consequences of poverty in Lebanon and those wrenched from their homeland by war”.

 

For further information:

Danny Coyle (Head Teacher, Newman College)  dcoyle@ncc.brent.sch.uk

Ian Linden (Chairman TCCT) secretary@constantinianct.com