Kayany Foundation strives to expand our students’ cognitive and technical skills by providing a safe environment where they are exposed to essential and wide-ranging academic, practical and vocational studies. We also promote growth by nourishing students with motivational support to develop and achieve their goals in spite of the hardships and atrocities they face.
Kayany Schools: the GHATA model
Since its inception, Kayany has partnered with the American University of Beirut’s (AUB) Center for Civic Engagement and Community Service (CCECS) in building “Ghata” school campuses. Ghata is a portable classroom that was designed by architects from the CCECS in an effort to house educational programs. The unit model is easily assembled and dissembled, endures severe weather conditions, adjustable for modifications, and is built by refugees from low-cost locally found material. Portable elements are used to assemble a kitchen that offers healthy snacks to the students. It also incorporates semi-dry latrines, which represent an adequate solution to minimize water consumption in the Bekaa, a semi-arid region that is facing seasons of acute drought. The Ghata design for school campuses has been highly efficient for direct intervention in the camps. It is the only portable structure approved by the Lebanese Ministry of Social Affairs to date.
Kayany Foundation schools provide elementary and secondary education using the official Lebanese curriculum. The subjects provided for grades 1 to 6 include Arabic, English, Sciences, Mathematics and Geography. In the secondary grades, students receive additional subjects such as physics, biology and chemistry. The educational program in the elementary schools is designed to re-introduce students to their respective grade through preparatory classes. Progress is being monitored by conducting bi-monthly written and oral in-class assessments.
The secondary schools also include vocational courses, which enhances employability and increases the market advantage of the youth. The students learn additional skills that can later assist them in the job market. The program incorporates courses in computer literacy, nurse aids, sewing/embroidery, and hairdressing/cosmetics.
Kayany Foundation recognizes the extreme importance of protecting children in times of emergency. Child protection is a vital component of our educational programs, ensuring that children, especially those who have witnessed traumatic events, are provided with the attention and care they need and deserve. Psychosocial support sessions are provided on a weekly bases through the education staff at each schools. Additionally, children are observed by the teachers and those who need more support are referred to a social worker who provide case management.
In every school, students are provided with a healthy meal prepared by ladies from the surrounding ITSs who are trained but the AUB on food safety, hygiene and nutrition. The meals include freshly baked traditional sandwiches (man’oushi) with dairy products, seasonal vegetables and fruits. Moreover, the students receive weekly sessions on healthy eating habits and on the importance of a balanced diet. The nutrition program was designed by the Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences at the AUB.
The educational staff at Kayany Foundation is recruited after passing through primary interview, written assessments and in-class performance. Nevertheless, the teachers continue to receive trainings throughout the academic year from AUB professors. The trainings include advanced methods on lesson planning and child-centered learning. They are also provided with subject matter training and methods of observing and referring children with trauma.