"We believe that education is essential for economic and social development."
Many Lebanese children do not attend schools for economic reasons, whether because they have to work to support their families or because their families cannot afford school-related expenses.
The deteriorating economic conditions in Lebanon since the civil war have negatively affected gross school enrollment rates dramatically.
According to the World Bank collection of development indicators, compiled from officially recognized sources, the gross school enrollment rate in Lebanon stands at (60%) lower than that of countries in the region such as Qatar (86%) and Jordan (65%).
Although only limited data is available, it is estimated that 25% of the Lebanese population lives on less than four US dollars a day.
Moreover, the disparity between the rich and the poor is great and is worsening. Many communities throughout the country are marginalized, living in poverty, under-served by public services such as water and electricity, and essentially ignored by the government.
MFA’s Action Plan
Makassed now runs over 28 schools, a University with two faculties, a university hospital and four clinics that cater annually to over 100,000 individuals across Lebanese cities and villages, without any discrimination based on gender, national origin or religion.
The most vulnerable areas include the extremely poor North, Bekaa, South and the twelve formal Palestinian and the many informal Syrian refugee camps—in short, those left out of the system can be found everywhere. Established in 1878, Makassed began by providing education for girls in Beirut. It soon expanded its reach, providing schooling for boys, then opening schools outside of the capital.
It then expanded in the early 1920s by reaching out to communities outside Beirut, inaugurating not-for-profit schools in remote rural areas.
Restoring a Classroom
The MFA currently partners with Makassed Association in Beirut to support the education of
more than 8,000 students enrolled in Makassed’s 28 schools throughout Lebanon.
Makassed schools in Beirut and rural areas are in dire need for renovation of both their
classrooms and external and administrative areas.
The cost of renovating one classroom is 45,000 USD.