We all live in this world together and we are all important. We love one another and care for each other. We are equal. We are connected and unified by friendship and respect. We have the right to feel safe and never threatened as we grow into healthy adults!
These are the values our Psychosocial Support program promotes at the Children’s Literacy Center in Baalbek; building character and fostering healthy habits in our students as they learn.
Training for “Homework Support”
Ana Aqra Association and the British Council in Beirut have been working together to advance their pilot “Homework Support” project. The British Council conducted a three day training session for Ana Aqra Association trainers at our offices in Clemenceau. The session involved teaching strategies on foreign language instruction as part of a collaboration between Ana Aqra and British Council through bringing best practices of their approaches together.
Training for QITABI
A workshop was held for DOPS monitors and the QITABI team at the end of the intervention that took place during the scholastic year 2015-2016 in the 140 schools of the first cohort. The workshop aimed to present the scientific validation of the classroom observation tool, discuss the challenges that faced the DOPS monitors during their visits and to plan further for the upcoming scholastic year.
Our very own Program Director, Ms. Amina Kleit, participated in the Symposium on Education, Training, Management and Research Profession conference in Rabat, Morocco. The event focused on developing professions, a pillar of the education reform. She presented Ana Aqra Association’s approach in building teacher capacity and supporting the system. The topic of focus was education in emergencies and school preparedness in response to the Syrian crisis. Thank you Ms. Kleit!
UNESCO Annual Celebration
Our annual celebration and awards ceremony at the UNESCO Palace in Beirut was a huge success this Spring. Students, teachers and administrators from Lebanese public schools participated in this fun event aimed to recognize excellence in education. There was an exhibit of student writing and artwork, various stage performances and awards were given to select schools. A special performance by a local magician had students in awe at his sleight of hand. Lunch and a complementary book completed the day for our enthusiastic guests. Way to go Ana Aqra, and looking forward to many more celebrations to come!!
“Back To School” Initiative
Ana Aqra Association is a proud supporter of the “Back To School” initiative launched by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education this year. This initiative strives to promote free access to basic education in public schools for all children in Lebanon.
The Children’s Learning Center
The Children’s Learning Center was built in the mid 1800s and was the residence of Saeed Basha Haidar.
During the Ottoman Empire, the mansion acted as the governance for the town of Baalbeck and the North Eastern Beqaa Valley. In recent years, it has been granted ‘Cultural Heritage Zone’ status by the Lebanese Government.
The premises was used by his decedents as a summer house. During the civil war it was abandoned and consequently served as a school run by the ministry of education.
The monument comprised of the following:
– The back end of the original building were the stables that accommodated the Basha’s horses and carriages and those of his visitors and guests.
– Staff quarters that hosted caretakers, security, cleaners and cooks.
– The main house with vaulted arcades, marble flooring and an indoor water fountain, carved from one stone, centrally placed in the principal salon.
– The immaculate outdoor reception area paved with large stone slabs from the ruins of the Roman temples and its sublime water fountain centrepiece that spans back to Ottoman/Arab heritage eras, leading to the gardens which is now the playground.
More than giving, we receive!
The happiness of the children with our simple presence and the enthusiasm that they show for every activity is a beautiful reward and sometimes makes us forget that they went through really difficult events. Because we want to recognize that they deserve all the credit, we start the activities with every group chiming together “nahna abtaal!” (We are heroes).
Every week we collaborate with Ana Aqra as volunteers, participating in the Psychosocial Support Program (PSS) in different schools in the area of Beirut. We are university students from a variety of countries and diverse backgrounds, but we share the enthusiasm for education and the belief that change is possible if we also bring our grain of sand.
Being part of a PSS Program is an enriching and positive experience, where the activities performed by the volunteers are also regarded as an important contribution for the welfare of the children and young people. And what is even better, we enjoy them!
PSS is based on the idea that the biological, emotional, spiritual, cultural, social and mental aspects of life are fundamental for the well-being of a human being and cannot necessarily be separated from another. And it is incredible all what you can achieve to this aim only playing!
By performing activities related to education, recreation, hygiene, sports, socio-cultural animation or simply playing children’s games, and thus becoming also a child for a while, we help to re-establish regular activities. This is a crucial step in feeling secure and confident that recovery is possible.