For this edition of Behind the Blue Walls we interviewed a superb charity who store with us in London called Al Madad Foundation. They provide education, housing, workshops and psychosocial care for disadvantaged and refugee children across the Middle East. Speaking to Sara, the foundation’s project and communications coordinator, we discovered more about the work they do and how they provide support to Middle Eastern children.
When was the charity founded?
Founded in 2004, Al Madad Foundation is a UK and UAE registered charity promoting education and literacy to disadvantaged and refugee children across the Middle East. There are three projects which run simultaneously - a Children's Learning Centre, Scholarship Program and START.
Recent figures have shown that there is an ongoing education crisis in the Middle East, with 66% of children out of school. The foundation believes in a Middle East where basic literacy and education are accessible to all, where young minds are cultivated and where children are given the tools to build positive futures for themselves and those around them.
The charity runs a number of initiatives all with the basic aim of improving education for disadvantaged children…
- The Children's Learning Centre
The centre offers remedial programs in basic literacy and numeracy, adapted to children who have been out of school for a significant length of time. It also houses a Mother and Child centre, IT services, creative workshops and psychosocial care.
As part of the program the foundation also has two ‘classrooms in a bus’, an innovative mobile classroom that enables them to reach children in areas too far for them to attend school, or where the journey to school is not safe to make. The two buses are able to deliver lessons every day to 104 disadvantaged children.
This program enables motivated and talented disadvantaged young adults to achieve higher education qualifications by giving them an opportunity take part in a prestigious two year International Baccalaureate Diploma Program in the UK (and a three year in country scholarship at esteemed universities across the MENA region).
START consists of art workshops held in 7 countries for orphans, refugees and special needs children. START reaches over 2, 000 vulnerable children every week to help create a rich future; as rich and free as their imagination.
In the space of just a year, Al Madad Foundation were able to reach nearly 4,800 children. With the balance of formal education programs, creative workshops and psychosocial care they hope to give refugee children access to much needed holistic education while also alleviating the trauma they have suffered as a result of the conflict in their home country.
One success story in particular is that of Faisal, who had travelled to Lebanon from Syria with his father. Sadly as a result of the trauma and stress he had suffered, he lost the ability to speak and it had been over a year since Faisal had last spoken. A huge breakthrough came thanks to The Children's Learning Centre's continued psychosocial support and adapted education programs and Faisal began speaking again, even participating in class, much to the joy and relief of his father.
- Want to find out more about the charity?
To find out more about the charity visit their website
and follow them on Facebook
. The site contains more details about all current projects and a donation page.
If you’d like to donate, a great way to integrate giving into your daily life is to sign up to the Al Madad ‘Give As You Live’ page
which allows you to shop at all your usual outlets. By selecting Al Madad as your charity of choice, a percentage of your purchase proceeds goes to the charity, at no added cost to you!
The charity also runs a ‘Twinning Project’ which allows for children in the UK and Europe to become pen pals with children in Lebanon, and the charity are always looking for more schools to sign up. If you think your school could be interested, contact firstname.lastname@example.org