Educational coach in Beirut, Lebanon.
“When you work with refugees and see hope in their eyes, it in turn gives me hope to be able to give them a push to do more for themselves. As an education coach at ProFuturo I can give them this access to learn in another country, because theirs is at war”.
My name is George EL Feghali and I am Lebanese, born and raised in Lebanon. I started studying law as I believed by doing so I would be able to bring justice to the people. However, I soon realised that justice is not found through books, neither laws nor regulations only; it has to be implemented through humanitarian action, whereby the most vulnerable people can gain access to a fair and just living. This is when my journey in the humanitarian field began.
I needed to make a difference
Prior to joining the ProFuturo team in Lebanon, I had pursued my desire to be in the humanitarian field by working at key organizations who served the vulnerable communities in my country. I had an urge to make a difference however small, in their lives.
I therefore soon shifted to Kayany Foundation as its main focus is education for the refugee children, which I believe is vital for these children to have a better, more hopeful future.
Thanks to ProFuturo, I am now an education coach, and I can make a difference as well as have a positive impact where it is needed. This is my ultimate dream: to work collectively to ensure the world is a better, safer place for the vulnerable communities and children.
We have an obligation towards refugee children
It is a social norm in our culture to bring children into the world. Yet, it is difficult if not traumatic to raise children in a context of war and displacement. One of the main challenges these children face is lack of access to formal education. I, as an education coach at ProFuturo I can give them this access to learn in another country, because theirs is at war, and thus, take part in providing them with their very natural and basic right, the right to education.
There is little hope without education
Education is essential. It is a basic human right, not only for refugees, but for everyone. It is point number 4 in the 2030 Global Goals. We cannot implement the other 16 if we don’t implement education first.
Refugee children currently have limited access to education in their own country or in other countries where they take refuge. It is not an option to leave them behind school premises. They have to go to school, which provides them with a safe and secure environment. This is where they can enjoy their right to a happy childhood with their peers while feeling empowered through learning.
We need to change the education methods and make it more participatory
When you work with refugees and see hope in their eyes, it in turn gives me hope to be able to give them a push to do more for themselves. This is why “Antura & The Letters”, an Arabic literacy app – was first introduced. Syrian refugee children need to learn their mother tongue, Arabic, through a fun simple way, starting with the Alphabet letters.
Introducing technology and tablets in education is of great benefit to them, as it allows them to fully engage with the activities. This method motivates the children to want to learn more. It is much more stimulating for them than sitting passively in class and merely listening to the teacher. That’s why I think we need to change the education system and methods of learning, to make it more participatory and engaging.
“Where there’s a will, there’s a way”, that’s my philosophy
Working in the humanitarian aid field is not a job. If you don’t feel fully involved beyond the 9-5 hours, helping and collaborating selflessly, than you may not be in the right field. If there is any means during the pandemic to maintaining the children learning process, than we should be applying it. We must put the ready technology to good use. “Where there’s a will, there’s a way”, that’s my philosophy.
The coach is the “motivator” of the project. He himself has to be motivated. His motivation and dedication should be passed on to the teachers, since they are the ones who are going to introduce knowledge to the children. The teacher is often almost marginalized, and so we need to remind ourselves, that we wouldn’t be able to enjoy life as we know it if it wasn’t for our teachers. For a child, being able to read a street sign and know the true price of something he’s buying can protect him from being lost and swindled. It is as simple as that.
We say: “sharing is caring”; In ProFuturo we are a family, we are all over the world. It is important to have synergy between the coaches.Moreover, learning about diverse cultures, is by itself a learning curve. There are no limits to exploring the unknown. This is one way to keep growing.