If you like Radio Nova you’ll love ‘THE GUILTY PARTY’ plus Special Guest Gary Cooke in aid of SCHOOLS FOR SYRIA. Call down to Clontarf Rugby Club on Saturday May 11th at 9pm. Tickets available from Fr. William Stuart 086 246 8159 or go to facebook.com/schoolsforsyria

Letter from Fr. William Stuart:

In January 2013 I was in Northern Lebanon as part of an international group assessing the Syrian refugee situation. The principal aim of the mission was to set up a peace and reconciliation center to win the peace when the guns have stopped. (See Relief and Reconciliation Syria)

While there I came across 500 Syrian children being “educated” in a disused school. They have some Syrian teachers but as they are unpaid they will not stay. They have no resources and no educational supports. While the situation is not unique it is unassisted by any national or international NGO and will not be into the medium to long term.

Upon my return home I decided to do something about this school. I thought If I could provide the funding to secure some teachers for these 500 kids (aged approx 8-13) it would, at least, provide tuition during 2013 and prevent further deterioration in their numeracy and literacy skills.
I want to raise funds to make whatever inroads possible. I hope to enable the employment of 15 teachers at a local rate of $800 per teacher, per month. Additionally, the children and the school needs resources, text-books, copy books pens etc. Monies raised over the coming months will determine the extent of assistance we can provide.

I am planning a further and more detailed assessment-of-need trip in later April, at my own expense. I am fortunate to have the assistance of a local “fixer” who is regularly employed by the French Catholic channel 24. (a fixer is someone who provides reliable local information, has access to people that you need to talk to, translates when necessary and generally prevents you having to learn local lessons at considerable time and expense). His fee is $120 per day. I will need him for not more than two days.

In conclusion, I would be most grateful and appreciative if you can support this project, maybe organise a fund raiser, come to the Abbey Tavern on March 8th or just make a donation. “Schools for Syria” will not end the conflict, right wrongs or make any significant difference but it may prevent a tiny number of Syrian children from being rendered literate and unemployable into the future.

Please, do not hesitate to contact me for further information.

Thanks for reading.

William Stuart.