Volume 13, No. 2
Fall 2010
School Program Offers New
Perspective For Lebanese Youth
(Photo credit: Rami Jubran/IOCC Lebanon)
Zahle, Lebanon (IOCC) – The positive effects of role playing in a school play are all too real for one student in Lebanon. Malek, a boy who was on the verge of being expelled for behavioral problems and poor attendance, has now been transformed into a disciplined, hard-working student with the dream of becoming a professional actor.

"I know that to become an actor I will have to work hard and doing well in school is a large part of that," said 14-year old Malek.

The transformation began when Malek was asked to fulfill one of the lead roles in the school play – the role of a mother. Reluctant at first, the boy warmed up to the part and the idea of dressing like a woman in front of his peers.

Although both his father and his sister are teachers, school had never been important for Malek and he often skipped classes. When IOCC started extra-curricular activities at his school, Malek was inspired to change his ways. "I had to start improving my behavior or I couldn't be in the play. Punishment had never affected me before but I wanted to be a part of these activities," he says.

The play at the Zahle Public School in this picturesque town in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley is just one of more than 160 such activities organized by IOCC as part of the Lebanon Education Assistance for Development (LEAD) Program funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development.

The program includes activities such as sporting events and health and craft fairs that are designed to foster a positive educational environment and develop creativity among teachers and students. So far, IOCC has assisted 228 public schools throughout Lebanon and supported more than 110 school clubs and 116 parent-teacher associations under the LEAD program.

As for Malek, the program is working. "He was no longer the same person," says Principal Maria Hadchiti, "there was a 180 degree change."

Since 2006, IOCC has helped improve the condition of Lebanon's public schools by creating hundreds of school clubs, parent-teacher associations and after-school activities. The program, which has also provided science labs, computers and infrastructure repairs, has benefited an estimated 75,000 public school students in Lebanon.

IOCC's after-school programs have been so successful that IOCC was recently invited by Lebanon's Ministry of Education to standardize the programs throughout the country.

Rami Jubran was an IOCC intern this past summer and served in the IOCC Office in Beirut, Lebanon.

Learn more at iocc.org/internship

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In This Issue

Response Shifts To Health and Recovery In Disaster Areas

Message from the Executive Director

IOCC Project In Romania Aims To Expand And Strengthen Social Services

School Program Offers New Perspective For Lebanese Youth

Effects Of Haiti Earthquake Ripple Through U.S. Community

IOCC Project Extends Assistance To Iraqi Refugees In Syria

Loving Memories Inspire Gifts Of Love

IOCC Volunteer Highlight: Presvytera Flora Moraitis

One In Spirit

Parish Reps Make A Difference!

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