It was inevitable at the beginning of this stage to work on two levels; material support of the committee and possessing accurate statistics of the Assyrian refugees in Lebanon. Thus started a parallel work on these points. As for foundation there were a lot of supporters; besides H.B Mar Meelis Zaya who donated in the name of Rabn Hermiz Parish in Sydney, the Assyrian National Council “Metwa” and Sign of Hope e.V.
As for statistics it was necessary to set a database categorized by families, in the sense that each refugee family fills out a special application, then the information were inserted accordingly to be stored in a central database (a copy of the application will be attached to this report.)
By the end of the sixth month of the year 2013, the Assyrian Support Committee had the following figures:
-491 registered family in the database
-150 family filled out the application but have not been inserted in the database yet
-200 family never applied
-1935 inserted in database
-450 filled out applications but have not been inserted in the database.
-500 at least have not applied yet
•Children pursuing education
-380 inserted in the database
– 80 waiting to be inserted in the database
-50 to 60 have not applied
•Families needing medications for chronic disease
-29 inserted in the database
p.s. the specialized committee of following up health status of the refugees is still working on finalizing its report and making sure of any other cases in the Assyrian families and is working constantly on pursuing the medical situation of every family.
After gathering the information and categorizing them we had to start distributing aid.
First step was to distribute food rations. Each ration includes:
-Chicken Luncheon, 2 small cans
-Cheese, 2 small size
-Pasta, two packets
As well as giving gifts for the children under 15 years.
It is worth mentioning that we would go to every house and hand them their food ration and talk to the family members about any suggestions or any troubles facing them. Every note or additional request and need they had we would save it and study it later to provide it accordingly.
The second practical step was to take care of the educational program for children. Who are 30% of the Assyrian refugees to Lebanon. And since the curricula of educational teaching in Syria differs radically than ones in Lebanon it was necessary to provide a preparatory summer course to qualify children to enter schools for 2013-2014 school year. The course started beginning of July and will continue for two month. There will be a detailed report about this program later.
On the educational level it is worth mentioning that the results of a study made by UNICEF titled Shattered Life’ the results were very negative, in the sense that it indicated that an entire generation of Syrian children may be deprived from education, pointing out to the dangers threatening the refugees children in the countries neighboring Syria, like early marriage and early recruitment in armed groups.
The foundation declared in the study that about 78% of the children do not go to schools.
According to the foundation there are reasons stopping these children from going to schools out of Syria:
•Their belief that they will go back to Syria;
•Fear of violence and being molested on the way to school;
•Having to work as kids
The results of this international report ensures the necessity to have a serious responsible accurate plan for the Assyrian Support Committee to take over particularly in terms of the strategy adopted by the committee considering that the struggle in Syria will take long and the best solution for children is to prepare them to be able to cope with the education system in Lebanon. It is a great pride for the committee to provide education for all Assyrian children, at the time when big international government foundations are not able to vouch for a quarter of refugee children’s’ number!
Three detailed reports will be provided by the committee, related to the academic program:
•Detailed report about the preparatory course, will be issued during the second half of July;
•Detailed report about Saint Georges Assyrian School will be issued during the second half of July, including the school abilities and the number of refugee children that it can absorb as well as the whole cost of the payments of the children’s academic program;
•A report preceding the school year 2013-2014 in the first week of September, to include all what was accomplished during summer preparatory program;
The other practical steps are providing medications as previously mentioned. As well as communicating with UNHCR to get their help and support in the cases of major surgical operations.
The committee appointed a specialized committee to follow up the social conditions of the refugees. Its most important tasks is to provide jobs for the unemployed.