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George And Amal Clooney To Put 3,000 Syrian Refugee Children Through School In Lebanon

'We can't lose a generation because they were born at the wrong time.'

01/08/2017 15:50 BST | Updated 01/08/2017 16:48 BST

George and Amal Clooney are set to put almost 3,000 Syrian refugee children through school in Lebanon, where nearly 200,000 pupils are out of education after fleeing their war-torn homeland. 

The partnership between the Clooney Foundation for Justice and UNICEF - worth $2.25 million - will help to support seven public schools in the country this year, where human rights lawyer Amal was born. 

“Thousands of young Syrian refugees are at risk - at risk of never being a productive part of society,” the couple said. 

“Formal education can help change that. That’s our goal with this initiative.

“We don’t want to lose an entire generation because they had the bad luck of being born in the wrong place at the wrong time,” the Clooneys added. 

The Syrian refugee crisis remains the largest humanitarian crisis since the end of World War II.

Since it began, more than one million Syrian refugees have fled to Lebanon, giving the country the world’s highest refugee population per capita.  

PA Archive/PA Images
Hundreds of thousands of children are out of education in Lebanon 

According to the Clooney Foundation, the surge has affected the education of both refugee and Lebanese students. 

The scheme, which has received a $1million grant from tech company HP and a “generous donation” from Google, aims to help both these groups. It will also introduce a tech pilot in several public schools.  

“We must ensure that we do not fail those most vulnerable victims who have managed to flee the carnage in Syria,” executive director David Pressman said. 

“It is our hope that the refugee children who will soon start school through this initiative will have a chance to contribute to building a more peaceful and just world and, hopefully, one where those responsible for these grave crimes are held to account.”

Lebanon’s education minister Marwan Hamadeh said the government was “delighted” that the Clooney Foundation was supporting the country’s efforts to “offer every child currently living in Lebanon a free education”. 

“Each child given access to education, and new ways of learning, represents a life changed for the better,” he said. 

“Today’s grant from the Clooney Foundation for Justice is therefore a crucial investment in future generations in Lebanon.”