[one_third last="no"][title size="2"]Beirut, South Lebanon[/title]
Children with mental and physical disabilities are frequently marginalised and excluded in much of the Middle East. MAI believes that all people are of equal value and worthy of respect and dignity. So we are working with partners in Lebanon to address this issue and to bring about a shift in attitude within the country and wider region.
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Our new partnership with the Lebanese Society for Educational and Social Development will aim to demonstrate the value of special needs assessments, coaching of existing staff and appropriate intervention strategies that will facilitate the inclusion of children with learning differences among their peers. Over two years, beginning in September 2015, our Partner will work in two public schools. It is hoped that not only will these particular children – including Syrian refugees – be helped and a cohort of empowered teachers established but also a much greater level of funding will be leveraged to extend this work throughout many more schools in Lebanon.

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Valuable Lessons Learnt in Lebanon

It has been a privilege to have supported SKILD’s (Smart Kids with Individual Learning Differences)  pilot project in Lebanon to develop approaches that help pupils with special needs to continue in mainstream education. Parents and teachers have reported improved in pupil performance and behaviour; Teachers are  better equipped to assess and teach children with learning differences; SKILD learnt more about implementing special education services.  The pilot’s achievements were used to influence the Ministry of Education target to recruit 30 special needs educators to scale up this knowledge and help more schools in Lebanon to improve the wellbeing of children who are at social, emotional and academic risk. "We are grateful to MAI for coming alongside SKILD on this highly worthy

September 3rd, 2018|Lebanon, Uncategorized|

Update from Lebanon

The Lebanon project is into its second year. MAI is funding two thirds of this pilot project conducted by SKILD (BMS is supporting the other third). The latest report from SKILD is encouraging in several respects. Firstly, they say: “The project has had a positive influence at school level and the Ministry of Education level. The ministry is planning to hire special educators in 30 schools.”  This is a significant breakthrough for inclusion in state education.  Only one third of schools in Lebanon are public schools.  Normally, parents with good incomes would choose to send their child to a private school.  A minority of private schools take inclusion seriously but this Government decision has the possibility of achieving cultural change.

June 26th, 2017|Featured, Lebanon, Projects|

Lebanon: slow but promising start

The autumn 2015 school registration was delayed by the Education Ministry due to the pressure of the Syrian refugee crisis.  This means that the SKILD project is a little behind the planned schedule.  Nevertheless good progress is being made. The latest report reflects on the fact that many teachers in the two schools were initially reticent about the presence of the three specialists working on the project (speech and language therapist, special educator and psychologist).  These concerns are gradually being overcome through the team members' positive communication with the teachers and the evident enthusiasm of the children being supported.  In fact, 98 pupils have been referred to the team and 20 in depth assessments have been completed. SKILD report: 22

May 3rd, 2016|Featured, Lebanon, Projects|

Lebanon project in full swing

This project - working with children with mental and learning challenges and their teachers in two state schools - is underway in Beirut.  Despite the challenging impact of the Syrian conflict, the Government has agreed to the plans of our partner - SKILD - and has already indicated that they would like to see the work extended to other schools!  MAI is enabling SKILD to place three specialist educators in the two schools and funding additional supportive resources. Before Christmas, training was undertaken with the existing teachers in those schools to heighten their awareness of approaches to enabling such students to flourish and become integrated into their appropriate peer group learning environments. A range of assessment and teacher training materials

January 15th, 2016|Featured, Lebanon, Projects|

TWICE GOLD – 2015 Annual Appeal

Our 2015 Annual Appeal raised £34,000 for the exciting project getting underway in Lebanon. Already underway in two state schools the pilot project will not only transform the immediate prospects of many children with learning differences but - we believe - will help change the cultural context for the wider community of children with mental and physical challenges. John Earwicker said: "We are so grateful to the two sponsors who guaranteed to match our supporters donations.  This has drawn a huge response from MAI friends that has surpassed any previous Appeal.  Thank you so much. Nabil Costa, the founder of the SKILD ministry (Special Kids with Individual Learning Differences), and his wife had adopted a child who developed learning difficulties.

September 8th, 2015|Lebanon, Projects|

New Project in Lebanon

MAI's Board has agreed a new two year Partnership Project in Lebanon with the Lebanese Society for Educational and Social Development (LSESD). It aims to help children with mental and physical challenges that adversely affect their learning. This follows an evaluation visit by John Earwicker to the Centre established by LSESD in their SKILD division which stands for Smart Kids with Individual Learning Differences! On March 9, MAI agreed to proceed with the Partnership. In Lebanon and throughout the Middle East, children with physical or mental challenges are often marginalised. SKILD has established a highly respected reputation and has a sizable staff offering private support to parents and children with these issues. However, in a country where only one third

March 3rd, 2015|Featured, Lebanon, Projects|