In October 2012, CCECS led a clothes donations drive following a blizzard in which five refugee children froze to death. Distribution rounds brought volunteers close to families living in dilapidated collective shelters, unhygienic underground garages, and informal tented settlements. The appalling conditions and lack of a coordinated national crisis response, combined with the resilience of the refugees necessitated that we adopt a proactive and strategic approach to invest in developing the human resources of refugees during a protracted stay with an aim that they will actively contribute to the Relief, Reconstruction, and Recovery of Syria upon their safe return.
Over half of the 1.1 million registered Syrian refugees in Lebanon are children with an estimated 60% out of schools, and merely 2% enrolled in secondary schools. Low attendance numbers and high incidences of school drop outs are attributed to child labor, financial destitution, limited mobility, security threats, discrimination, lack of psychological and social support, and inadequate built education environment. UNICEF's No Lost Generation campaign describes the ordeal of “an entire generation of children that is being shaped by violence, displacement, and a persistent lack of opportunity – and could be lost forever, with profound long-term consequences for Syria, the region, and beyond".
Currently, more than 8,000 direct beneficiaries are being served under the Center’s Syria Relief Response Projects which include: (a) Ghata: Bringing Education to Informal Tented Settlements, (b) Digital Skills Training Program: Increasing Employability for the Online Market, (c) Partnership for Digital Learning and Increased Access (PADILEIA): College Readiness Program , (d) Safe and Sound: A School-Based Psychosocial Support Program for Refugee Adolescence, and (e) ProFuturo – Classroom in a Suitcase: E-Learning Curriculum for Out of School Children. The Center’s key strategic partners include: Reach Out to Asia, Kayany Foundation, Al Maymouna Education, UN-World Food Programme, King’s College London, DFID, Higher and Further Education Opportunities and Perspectives for Syrians (HOPES), EU-Madad, British Council, Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma, Maastrich School of Management, Nuffic, and Profuturo.