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Teach For Lebanon Hosts Teach For All’s First Education in Emergencies (EiE) Immersion

by Teach For Lebanon - May 29,2023

Nine partner organizations from Teach For All's worldwide network gathered in Byblos, Lebanon, for a Network Learning Circle (NLC) event that was organized by TFL in cooperation with TFALL from Saturday, April 28, to Wednesday, May 3, 2023. The network partners included Teach For Sweden, Teach For Ukraine, Teach For Armenia, Teach For Uganda, Teach For Mexico, Teach For Italy, Teach For Colombia, Teach For Ethiopia, and Teach For Bangladesh.

This four-day event brought together a cohort of senior leadership team partners to learn from Teach For Lebanon’s approach to education in emergencies and take action to strengthen their own programs. 

They were immersed in Lebanon’s rich context, and explored how and why Teach For Lebanon made various decisions and programmatic choices, such as placing fellows in refugee-hosting areas; engaging in humanitarian efforts after the Beirut port bombing; managing risk, security, and cashflow during the economic collapse and political instability; and cultivating partnerships with humanitarian organizations and donors.

On the third day three school visits were conducted simultaneously in three different regions across Lebanon: Al Abrar School in the North, Jbeil Second Public School in Byblos, and the New Educational School in Beirut. 

In addition, NLC was attended by a diverse range of stakeholders, including MEHE representatives, public school principals, and the International Rescue Committee (IRC). Through a series of interactive sessions and workshops, participants shared their experiences, perspectives, and ideas on how to build resilience and promote sustainable development in the Lebanese education system. 

One of the key strategies discussed during the event was the importance of collaboration and partnership-building among the TFALL network. TFL emphasized the need for greater coordination and cooperation among stakeholders in order to address the complex challenges facing Lebanon, more specifically around fundraising and advocacy.

Moving forward, TFL and TFALL are committed to continuing their efforts to ensure the sustainability of the project beyond 2024 and TFL will remain the EiE subject matter expert within the network. Plans are already underway for future initiatives and programs aimed at building on the success of this event.

Overall, the NLC provided a unique opportunity to share knowledge and best practices, build new networks, and foster collaboration across sectors and disciplines. It is challenging to work in emergency situations, and it is very important to build human connection as the latter will help us stay grounded, prevent burnout, and reenergize to keep fighting for children.  The event also enabled TFL staff to gain a deeper understanding of the opportunities for innovation and change in the EiE context.

We would like to leave you with this beautiful testimonial video created by TFALL and the NLC participants.

Below are two testimonials from the TFL team,  reflecting on their takeaways from this successful immersion event.

Ahmad Kassem, TFL’s Education Mentor 

Meeting people from different partner organizations who come from varying contexts yet agree on one common goal, serving students and communities in challenging circumstances, gives me hope in humanity. Almost a week spent with amazing leaders, not one “angle” was discussed, no hidden agendas, nothing but a true and unique vision to be better equipped to serve and support our schools, teachers, and students. 

The immersion helped us both professionally and personally. On a professional level, it opened the doors to learning best practices, and different approaches and understanding the adaptive challenges and approaches adopted by different partners. On a personal level, I think I can speak for everyone when I say that we made lifelong friends with whom we share a common goal and ambition. 

Mouhammad Houssari, TFL’s Chief Operations Officer

Overall, the Education in Emergency learning trip organized by TFALL and TFL in Byblos was an excellent opportunity for knowledge sharing with the network partners. It provided valuable insights into adaptive and collaborative leadership, creative problem-solving, and prioritizing team wellbeing. These lessons will undoubtedly contribute to enhanced effectiveness in addressing the challenges and uncertainties of emergency situations.

The trip served as an excellent platform for knowledge sharing and fostering a network of professionals dedicated to improving education in emergencies.

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Number of fellows: 5

"Education is the most powerful weapon which we can use to change the world”

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