Please find below the official call for applications that includes the exact terms of reference, required qualifications and conditions:
Applications or inquiries: email@example.com
You are on the homepage of Relief & Reconciliation International AISBL, a non-profit organisation under Belgian law that is combining peacebuilding with humanitarian aid in response to the Syrian crisis. We are uniting different communities around a common cause: the future of the youth. We opened our first Peace Centre and a refugee camp school in the North of Lebanon, only 12 km from the Syrian border. Read more on the following pages about who we are and what we do.
In the framework of the project “Interreligious Youth Network for Peace and Children Rights in Akkar”, we are looking for an experimented illustrator/graphic designer to produce an illustrated version of the Children Rights Charter, written together with our youth leaders from all communities of Akkar. The result can be presented in form of a comic book or an illustrated collection of testimonies that we are going to print, both in Arabic and in English language. Both the drafting process and the final book will be important milestones after nine years of work in the north of Lebanon.
Please find below the official call for applications that includes the exact terms of reference, required qualifications and conditions:
Deadline: Monday, 20 June 2022, 11:55pm Beirut time (UTC+2:00)
Applications or inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
This month is a special moment of spiritual solidarity for all of us. The feats of Easter, Ramadan and Passover have fallen simultaneously in a rare conjunction, reminding us that we are ‘brothers and sisters in humanity’ and must work together for good. In this context of spiritual solidarity, and as Ramadan is entering its final week, we appeal to your generosity to help us complete the school year of 2021-2022.
Here, only twelve kilometers from the Syrian border, we have been relentlessly providing daily educational classes to more than 550 students, and that, without a single day of interruption. But in these times of political turmoil, economic crisis and Covid pandemic, our accounts are empty. We need €15,600 more to support our students until the end of this school year. Our teachers are only paid by small private donations. Therefore, we cannot do it without your help.
Please click below for learning more specific details!
Help refugee children through the Covid Winter!
Lebanon has been hit by a triple crisis. The Covid-19 pandemic came only on top of political turmoil at home and in neighbouring Syria and a dramatic economic meltdown with more than 400% inflation per year. The needs are enormous and we need your help for keeping our class rooms open, both virtually and in real life. We started collecting used tablets and laptop computers to facilitate distant learning in this academic year. Lebanese schools have finally adapted to the Covid-19 pandemic with online classes, but almost none of the Syrian refugee children has access to electronic devices and affordable internet.
The biggest part of our budget is dedicated to education. In the school-year 2019-20, we opened a third informal camp school in vicinity of Kousha and we could maintain daily educational classes for more than 250 children in four different locations of the Akkar Governorate. In 2019, we spent more than €100,000 for our Educational Programme, also thanks to a grant we received from SlovakAid. In this year, like in the past, we are relying exclusively on private small donations to bring the children we serve through the Covid Winter. It is the start of our 8th school year and there has not been one school day without classes at our Peace Centre.
Emergency response in the corona crisis
The pandemic of the new corona virus has severe effects on the refugee camps in the north of Lebanon. Though none of the families we serve has been infected, the total lockdown of the country is a heavy burden. Most Syrian refugees are earning a living as daily labourer, but even the black market is shut down nowadays. And the cash assistance from the UN is only $27 per month for about half of all refugee families - not enough to still the hunger if you also have to pay rent.
We have been urged by the families we serve to provide basic assistance to survive the crisis. Such form of aid is not our usual approach, as we favour to support the self-reliance of communities. But in these special times, it is literally about the daily bread. We started distributing bread baskets in the refugee camps of Akkar and we wish to extend the emergency response to poor Lebanese. $1 per day can make the difference to nourish a family. We call upon your generosity to help.
Start of our 7th school year in the North of Lebanon
For more than two months, the Lebanese people are in the streets. The whole country is blocked and more than a quarter of the entire population joined the protests against the ruling class of politicians. We have seen many protests in Beirut over the last years, but never it spread to all regions of the country. All banks, schools and universities have been closed for several weeks and most highways are blocked. The demonstrations have remained peaceful over the first weeks but some of the ruling parties have recently tried to stir up sectarian hatred.
The whole approach of Relief & Reconciliation is put to a test in this tense situation. We have united all communities in Akkar, the poorest region of Lebanon, around our cause: the future of the youth. We have managed to enrol more than 1,200 Syrian refugees into public schools. And also in this seventh school year since we started operations, we managed to keep our classes running. So far, more than 150 students are attending our daily homework help sessions and basic literacy and numeracy classes. We finished the last school year 2018/19 with more than 300 students, also thanks to a grant of SlovakAid. We want to get there again this year.
Distribution of emergency food baskets
The war in Syria is far from being over. For the last 4 months, the Idlib Governorate in the North-West of Syria has been the target of daily bombings by the Syrian regime and its Russian ally. With all borders closed around the country, Idlib was the last safe zone for many Syrians who were fleeing the persecution of the regime. More than 3 million IDPs (internally displaced persons) are stranded here. Our Syrian branch, the Levantine Relief Network, has been working in Idlib for more than four years.
Today, an urgent call for help reached us from Barkush, next to the Turkish border. 40,000 displaced persons have arrived over the last weeks, mainly from Khan Shaykhun. With the help of some local friends, they could built provisional tents and shelters. But there is no help to nourish the children and maintain basic hygiene. We are calling upon your generosity to deliver emergency kits and food baskets to the families stranded in Barkush. Please click on the "Donate" button to make a contribution and please note "Idlib" in the subject line! You will find more details below if you click on the "Read more" link.
Daily homework help in 4 locations of Akkar
Education is a marathon, not a sprint. Since the establishment of our first Peace Centre in the North of Lebanon in 2013, we have been providing daily education to more than 1,200 Syrian and Lebanese children. We follow the principle of continuity of care. None of the children that we have served has been left behind. In 2015, we managed to enrol more than 450 Syrian students of our informal camp schools into public Lebanese schools. Since then, we continue to provide daily homework help to Syrians and Lebanese to support their success in school.
In this school year 2018/19, we could expand our work thanks to a project grant by SlovakAid, in partnership with People in Need Slovakia. Besides the Peace Centre in Bkarzla, the Tell Aabbas camp and the outreach centre in Michmich, we could open a fourth location in the village of Rahbe. About 300 students are attending 16 daily classes in these locations. And despite the winter cold in the Akkar mountains, the hearts of our teachers and international volunteers are burning to make the school integration of all these children a success.
The highlight of this year's Akkar Summer School of Spiritual Solidarity was a great summer camp organised with local volunteers from different communities. We brought together Syrian and Lebanese children from Muslim and Christian villages to learn, play and sing together on top of the Akkar mountains.
Impressions from R&R's 5th school year in Akkar
Last week, we finished the fifth year of school support in the North of Lebanon, next to Syrian border. As in previous years, we offered daily homework help sessions at our Peace Centre in Bkarzla and at the informal camp school in Tell Aabbas throughout the school year. Our Lebanese and Syrian teachers joined forces with our international volunteers to continue the care for the children we serve and not to leave anybody behind. We hope that all our students successfully passed the exams. Besides homework help, we also offered English classes in Bkarzla, Tell Aabbas and two other locations. And with the help of the Tavola Valdese from Italy, we could provide vocational training classes in the field of electricity, plumbing and sowing.
Midst in the school year, in the end of January, we were shocked by the arson attack on the main class room of the Tell Aabbas camp school. Unknown assailants had put the wooden structure on fire. We are fortunate that homework classes could continue in the workshop for our vocational training and that a Spanish NGO started now the reconstruction of the class room. But the incident shows in how vulnerable conditions Syrian refugees in Lebanon are living. Most of those we serve are paralysed by constant fear of arbitrary arrests, as they don't have any legal residence. Criminal acts like this arson attack are hardly pursued by the authorities and many are exploited on the informal labour market without any guarantee to get paid.
The school year is over, but life goes on. Our vocational training classes are going to continue throughout the summer and our international volunteers are offering catch-up classes and summer activities for preparing the return to school. We need your help to continue our struggle for the future of the Syrian youth. Please support us with a small donation! You can find out how in the Donate Now! section.
From 28 August till 22 September 2017, participants from around the world came to the R&R Peace Centre for our first "Akkar Summer School of Spiritual Solidarity". International participants from various academic backgrounds joined forces with local volunteers from Syria and Lebanon to reflect upon this guiding principle of our work. Academic courses on political, religious, legal and humanitarian aspects of the Syrian refugee crisis were combined with outreach activities and the implementation of small solidarity projects in the different communities we serve.
The news from Syria is not getting better. 2016 was a terrible year for the Syrian people and also for our young organisation. Aleppo has been destroyed and thousands more have been killed or displaced. We have seen friends losing their loved ones under the bombs of the Syrian regime and its allies. We have seen people losing hope. We have seen people profiting from the suffering of others for personal gains.
But with your help, we could keep a little flame of hope alive. We are the only organisation combining peacebuilding with humanitarian aid in response to the Syrian crisis. At our Peace Centre in the North of Lebanon, we have brought together people of all faiths and backgrounds around a common cause: the future of the youth.
R&R Syria volunteers and friends from Lebanon and abroad joined in the second annual Solidarity Olive Harvest in Akkar, 11-13 November. The purpose of the yearly event is to help the Syrian families who have found shelter and work in the olive orchards and support our peacebuilding efforts while giving guests a chance to enjoy the hospitality of our volunteers and the natural beauty of the area.
The R&R Peace Center, now in its fourth year, is an open house for local Syrian and Lebanese children and families. It serves as a site for classes and recreation and as a home to our international volunteers. The center is in Bqarzla, a small Maronite Christian village in a religiously mixed area, surrounded by olive orchards where many of the refugees we serve work long and hard every day.
This holiday season, as you spend time with friends and family and shop for gifts for your loved ones, please take a minute to watch our Christmas message and to think of us and of those we serve.
Short film by R&R Syria's youth press club and USJ
Please watch and share this powerful film produced by the refugee youth at R&R Syria's youth press club in Akkar (Lebanon) with the help of students from the audio-visual department of Université Saint-Joseph in Beirut. "Take off the mask of prejudice and see the human face of the Syrian youth!" This is the message the youth in the refugee camps at the Syrian border want to convey to the world. The youngsters decided themselves what labels they see imposed on them. Many thanks to them and to the Lebanese students who came during two long weekends to Akkar for producing the footage and putting together this fantastic film!
Intensive catch-up classes for the 3rd year in a row
The Holy Month of Ramadan is over and the summer is here. In the heat of Northern Lebanon, our team of international and local summer volunteers has launched the third edition of our intensive catch-up classes for Syrian refugee children and Lebanese host communities during school vacations. During two months, our volunteers will be delivering daily intensive classes to more than 200 students in the surroundings of our first Peace Centre in the Akkar region (Lebanon):
This year will also be the start of the official Accelerated Learning Programme of Lebanese public schools, funded by UNICEF. The goal is to finally enroll Syrian refugee students into public Lebanese schools. The international community has granted more than $600 million for this purpose to the Lebanese government- but the results after one year of implementation are very meager. Only 20,000 of the estimated 500,000 Syrian school-aged children without education have been enrolled over the past school year. Now things shall get better.
Prayers in solidarity with Syria from 21 till 29 July
During the 9 days leading to the second anniversary of Father Paolo Dall Oglio's disappearance in Syria, on 29 July 2013, our international volunteers gathered every night on the rooftop of the R&R Peace Centre in Bkarzla for a moment of silence and meditation. Muslims, Christians and persons of other beliefs were united in their prayers and thoughts for Paolo and all other victims of dictatorship, war and hatred. In a form of novena, we were reading and discussing words from Paolo as well as other texts out of the Jewish, Christian or Muslim tradition.
Our hope will be stronger. Our love will prevail.
Every year since its establishment, R&R Syria has been holding a big Peace Iftar in the holy month of Ramadan. For millions of Muslims throughout the world, Ramadan is a most special time. It is not only a month of fasting, meditation and nearness to God, but also a month of hospitality, solidarity and tolerance. R&R Syria is inviting every year all communities present in Akkar, the region of our first Peace Centre, to unite for one special night over Iftar tables to break the fast together. Sunnis, Alawites and Christians, both Syrians and Lebanese, followed our invitation and shared a moment of hospitality and shared humanity.
Celebrations and celebrities at the camp school
An intensive year has come to an end. On 10 June 2015, we celebrated the end of the second school year in the informal camp school for Syrian refugees we helped to establish two years ago. This year has seen many changes: thanks to the support of the Malaak Initiative, here in Lebanon, we could help to expand the informal school from three to fourteen class-rooms. More than 400 children from 18 informal camps in the surrounding areas were registered. We had tried again to enroll them into public Lebanese schools but there was no space available. For this reason, our local and international teaching volunteers provided daily education according to the Lebanese curriculum to the kids throughout this school year.
Christians and Muslims united in solidarity with Syria
During the Easter holiday, on Tuesday 7 April, several dozen Lebanese and Syrians, Christians and Muslims united, were marching together for peace and justice in Syria. In a time where hatred and violence are dominating the international news, they wanted to set a symbol for solidarity between different religions and convictions.
Buses were leaving in the early morning from Beirut and from Akkar to meet in the breathtaking nature of Qadisha Valley, the Holy Valley of the Maronites where more than a dozen of old monasteries, carved in the steep rocks, are witnessing the long and rich history of faith since the Maronites themselves arrived as refugees, several hundred years ago, fleeing persecution to the safe mountain retreat.
German ambassador at our camp school
On Wednesday, 11 March, the German ambassador to Lebanon visited our informal camp school in Akkar and participated afterwards in a lunch with members of our regional Steering Committee in Bkarzla, the village of our first Peace Centre.
It was the first visit of ambassador Christian Clages to Akkar, at the Northern border of Lebanon. This region receives very few official visits because of security and difficult access from Beirut. It is the poorest region of Lebanon that is welcoming today the highest number of Syrian refugees per head: about 200,000 Lebanese are living side by side with 150,000 refugees. People here feel neglected and abandoned by the central government and the international community.
Collect of shoes and clothes for our school kids
This winter in Lebanon promises to be harsh. The first snow fell already in December and the strong winter storms blew away the self-made tents in the Syrian refugee camps or drowned them under the heavy rain. Just before Christmas, a group of students of Université Saint-Joseph and the American University of Beirut came to our informal camp school and distributed shoes and clothes they had collected before. It was also the opportunity for our school students to have a good time and to welcome Santa Claus with all due festivity. We could bring several tons of clothes also to those refugee families in bitter need at our outreach centre in Michmich, up in the mountains where temperatures are much lower. Many thanks to the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Beyrouth and its director for having made this possible!
More than 300 Syrian students need your support
On 12 October, our non-formal camp school in Akkar (Northern Lebanon) started its second school year. We have been running this non-formal school for Syrian refugee children throughout the school year 2013/14. And now we have big news to announce. During this summer, the Lebanese charity initiative Malaak provided the funding for building 14 new class rooms. During summer, we started to enroll 200 more kids from surrounding camps who had been out of school for more than 3 years. The extended camp school is now giving daily lessons to more than 300 students..
Volunteers in solidarity with Syria and Lebanon
This summer 2014 saw the second edition of our special Ramadan Volunteers Programme. From the beginning of July till the end of September, 21 international volunteers stayed at our Peace Centre in Bkarzla (North Lebanon) in solidarity with Syrian refugees and Lebanese in need. We united people from around the world and from all confessions around this common cause and we worked hard to bring more Syrians back into school. By now, we could increase the total reach of our educational activities to more than 700 students. A great thank-you to all our volunteers and staff members for this tremendous job! And a thank-you also to our donors from around the world who made it possible.
Kidnapped in Syria one year ago
One year ago, on 29 July 2013, our dear friend and mentor Father Paolo Dall'Oglio SJ disappeared in Raqqa, Syria. He went on his own and with his free will to the capital of the freshly proclaimed "Islamic State in Iraq and Syria" for negotiating the release of hostages taken by this extremist group and for building peace. We phoned right before his arrival and talked about the danger. He was perfectly aware of it, but he had to go. Having dedicated his life to Syria and to the love of Islam, he could not turn his back to this darkest hour in Syria's modern history. We have no news since he entered the base of the ISIS fighters. Many rumours are circulating, but there is no formal proof either for his survival nor for this death. We all hope he is still alive and we join the call of his family upon his kidnappers to give answers.
A month of spiritual solidarity
One year after the establishment of our first Peace Centre in the North of Lebanon, we are entering again the Holy Month of Ramadan: a special time for the about 1.6 billion Muslims in the world and a special time for the millions of Syrians who had to flee their homes. For us, it is also the time to bring together different religions and beliefs in a genuine expression of spiritual solidarity. We started the second edition of our special programme "Ramadan Volunteers", which is bringing short-term volunteers from around the world to our Peace Centre. Throughout the summer, they are helping us in our response to the educational emergency of Syrian refugees in Lebanon. They are giving international solidarity a human face.
We need your help
Our work is mainly relying on the help of our volunteers, supported by private donations. We are looking for 500 persons who are willing to make a pledge of €10/month. Please contact us if you want to become one of the 500 Patrons of the Peace Centre!
500x10 for the Peace Centre
We wish to maintain full transparency with regard to our funding. For this reason, we publish every single donation on our website. Please find below the latest entries in our donors' registry.
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