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Single Mothers' Program 2015 Single Mothers' Program 2015

After the wonderful success of the Single Mothers' Program for Syrian refugees last year, many women living in the Marj Camp in the Beqaa region were eagerly waiting for the program to start this year.
The tensions in our region and the terrible clashes between the Lebanese army and the terrorists in North Beqaa forced us to postpone the program. The success of the Lebanese army in confronting the terrorists and the improving security situation in our region, thanks to the great efforts of the Lebanese army, made it suitable to re-launch the Single Mothers' Program this year. The program was started on Monday 13 April 2015.
It was not easy to choose ten women out the many who would like to join the program. We had to go through a long list to choose the most needy women. One wonderful woman who attended the program last year went out of her way to help us find the most needy among the women in the camp.
Although we only planned to have ten women in the program, we had to take twelve. We really could not go down from twelve to ten as the need of these twelve women was huge. They all really needed to attend the program.
The vocational training program this year is hairdressing. Schneller School contracted Mrs. Dareen Daoud to teach this program. She is a very kind person who was able to graciously deal with the tough beginnings of teaching women from extremely Single Mothers' Program 2015 conservative backgrounds the skills of hairdressing.
One of the women refused initially to take off her head cover although she was behind closed doors only with women. In the end she explained to her that she cannot learn hairdressing unless she takes off her head cover and allows others to wash and do her hair, as she will do the same to others. These are the very tough beginnings Mrs. Daoud had to go through.
The women took very quickly to the new daily routine in Schneller School. Many of the women and children needed treatment and medications because of various sicknesses. The school doctor took great care of them and they were all, women and children, provided with the medications they needed to get well and be healthy again.
The Kindergarten Center where half of the women provide daycare to the children is much better this year. The house was renovated. The old metal doors and windows were replaced with double-glazed aluminum windows. The roof-tiles were replaced with new ones to prevent water and damp form reaching the inside. In place of the unsafe traditional diesel heater central heating was installed.
The children were provided with Kindergarten teaching-material including a book of the alphabet for English and Arabic and a book of numbers for every child. The challenge is to make a few of the mothers with some education to use this material to teach the children Kindergarten basics.
To achieve this goal we decided to change the internal setting of the house from that the women prefer, to a more conventional Kindergarten center. The open space with a huge carpet, cushions and chairs will be replaced with children's tables and chairs. We will also add some play items for the children to enjoy.
We ordered those items and we expect a major transformation of the placeSingle Mothers' Program 2015 very soon. As all children will eventually have to go to school, be it in Lebanon or hopefully in Syria when peace will be restored, helping children adjust to a school setup will be a good step towards their integration in the school system. They will still have one room that has the setup of the tent they are used to, but all other rooms will be what is expected in a Kindergarten. Their traditional way of life is respected, but they will also be provided with facilities that will help children fully integrate into a normal school setup.
The women are provided with an income equivalent to their daily wages. They are also provided on cold days with diesel to heat their tents. All are provided with medical care and medications. They also receive milk and bottled water for the children. They are also provided with the monthly rent for the land on which their tent is pitched in the camp (50 US$ per month). Who ever thought that those poor people are paying rent for the land on which their tents are pitched!
The house in Schneller where children spend the day is heated and has hot water. We provided the women with soap, shampoo, and towels in order to shower and bathe their children as needed.
All are provided with a snack at 10:00 AM and a hot meal at 12:30 PM.
The same system that was applied last year is applied this year. Half of the women receive training on one day while the other half looks after the children. The following day the roles are exchanged.
Transportation is provided daily from the camp to Schneller School and back.
It is our hope that the Single Mothers' Program will be a great success, and that it will help the single mothers to generate income  in order to support their children.
Upon enquiring about the ten single mothers who trained with us last year we found that three of them have regular work now and are able to generate income to support their children. Two are able to generate limited income occasionally from doing odd jobs every now and then. The other five are still trying to generate income through the skills they learnt last year.
We sincerely thank our German partner EMS (Evangelical Mission in Solidarity) for supporting us with all the necessary funds to run this program.
We also thank the Schneller Board for its support of this very important project.

Schneller School Name in Arabic
Johann Ludwig Schneller Schule

Education for Peace since 1860