It is alarming that more than 50% of Syrian refugee children in Lebanon, which has the highest proportion of refugees anywhere in the world, are out of school, most of them at secondary school age. On top of this 41 % of young displaced Syrian women are married before 18 and 35% of Syrian refugee children in Lebanon aged 5 to 18 are forced into child-labour.
The Alsama Project has been formed to combat this through the establishment of education centres, sports hubs and social enterprises in refugee camps in Lebanon. This enables refugee children to access an education, build physical and mental strength and stay safe.
This project will provide mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) at Alsama Secondary Education Institute for Syrian teenagers in Bourj el Barajneh refugee camp, the majority of whom are girls (75%).
The psychological impact of the current context in Lebanon cannot be underestimated; many students have psychological trauma resulting from the Syrian civil war and issues such as PTSD are endemic and lead to ongoing problems for young people. Alsama has successfully incorporated a resident psychologist into the Shatila education institute whose heavy case load is highly indicative that mental health support is also required in Bourj el Barajneh.
Alsama Minds will improve students ability to engage with their education and reduce drop outs attributable to mental health issues. The project will provide mental health asessments for all 200 students in the Bourj el Barajneh Education Institute with provision of one-to-one couselling where needed. Training will also be delivered for 10 staff alongside the development of robust policies on mental health and a section in Alsama’s library.
Funding will cover the salary for the resident psychologist and the cost of mental health resources.