When life is tough for you and your family, you try to protect your children from the worst of it. But it is not always easy to do so, especially if you are part of a vulnerable refugee family. Keeping well and warm and all having enough food to eat are constant challenges.

These struggling families need to have hope for the future, that someday things will be better, at least for their children. But when their kids are unable to get an education and are sitting idle and bored instead of studying in school, that future hope fades. They fear that their children’s potential career opportunities are slowly, day-by day, getting worse and worse.

You have the opportunity this Christmas to bring hope to refugee families by giving the gift of education to children who desperately need it. LSESD’s relief and development arm MERATH (Middle East Revive and Thrive) is supporting local partners who have opened non-formal education centers in Lebanon and Syria. Over 1,800 children are benefitting from these centers, catching up on years of missed education and finding in our partners’ centers a place to play, have fun, make friends, and be children again.

Sanaa* is one child whose life has been changed by attending one of these education centers. Life had been hard at her previous school. She suffered from bullying and neglect due to a disability she has had since losing her hearing from a bombing. It made her hate school and affected her self-confidence and wellbeing. Things are very different now she is at the MERATH-supported remedial learning and educational center. She’s able to learn languages as well as science in a caring environment. Sanaa is enjoying school and has become very hardworking, leading to her starting to achieve excellent grades. Her mother says: “Seeing her smiling again and excited to go to the education center gives us enormous hope: our ten-year-old can finally be a child again and has prospects of a better future!”

This Christmas help us support more vulnerable children and their families in Lebanon and Syria. By giving to our Christmas appeal we can ensure that more children benefit from attending the education centers that we support. Our Christmas appeal is also going towards winterization items to ensure that families keep warm and well this winter.

It costs $90 to provide quality non-formal education for an out-of-school child for a month and just $100 to keep one family warm during a harsh winter. Could you possibly pay some or all of that to help a child like Sanaa and her family have hope for the future? Maybe you and your church could give a gift to help several children and their families? To make your donation, go to the MERATH giving page on the MEBO website and select Education and Child Protection (for education programs) or Basic needs (for winterization). No contribution is too small. For whatever you are willing to give, we thank you with all our heart!

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