About #ImagineaSchool

Thirteen-year-old Dyana has never seen a classroom. But she imagines one would look beautiful. She’s one of tens of thousands of children whose education has been shattered by conflict.

What happens when you gather refugee children, many of them out of school for years, for a traditional class photo? That is what we set out to discover.

For some, a class photo was reminiscent of their lives before the conflict. But for others, like young children who have never stepped foot in a classroom, it was a first.

There’s Ali, who last took a class photo with friends who have since been killed, and Mohamad, who feels he’s now too old to start his education. And then there’s Hanadi, who fears the day her parents marry her off will be the end of her education, and Dyana, the 13-year-old breadwinner of her struggling family.

This is their story.



Less than half of Syrian refugee children in Lebanon are going to school.

“To be able to turn that situation around is our highest priority,” says the Representative of UNICEF Lebanon.

The filming of #ImagineASchool took place across Lebanon in the summer of 2016. Take a look behind the scenes and find out how it all started and why UNICEF initiated the project.

What is UNICEF doing?

UNICEF is present in 1,300 schools and close to 2,000 informal tented settlements across Lebanon. In 2015/2016, UNICEF and the Ministry of Education and Higher Education in Lebanon supported approximately 150,000 Syrian refugee children and 197,000 Lebanese children to enroll and stay in Lebanese schools.

UNICEF currently covers school fees of all children in Lebanon attending public schools or regulated informal education. Through the public school system, UNICEF also provides learning materials, enrollment support, school transport, school uniforms, bags and stationery, as well as psychosocial support to those in need.

UNICEF and the Lebanese government run an Accelerated Learning Program for children who have missed two or more years of schooling, compressing two years of schooling into one to allow children to re-enter the formal school system. More than 17,000 children have finalized the Accelerated Learning program in 2016.

In order to improve the quality of teaching, UNICEF also trains teachers in public schools who work under enormous pressure.

UNICEF and partners provide homework support to Lebanese and non-Lebanese children at risk of drop-out due to language and curricula differences. UNICEF is also improving learning environments by rehabilitating public schools according to requirements for school safety, sanitation facilities and access to water.

In 2015 alone, UNICEF rehabilitated more than 60 schools in order to help them cope with increasing numbers of students.

UNICEF has recently launched a pilot project that will increase the number of Syrian children in schools and reduce child labour.




For clean b-roll, high resolution photos, copies of the children’s interviews or media interviews with UNICEF, please contact:

Hedinn Halldorsson
[email protected]
Tel.: +961 81 69 69 90

Salam Abdulmunem
[email protected]
Tel.: +961 70 99 66 05



Photography: Alessio Romenzi
Videography: Hedinn Halldorsson
Editorial direction: Hedinn Halldorsson, Yara Moussaoui
Website: Vignette Interactive
Matt Ford (direction)
Jakub Krcmar (design & experience)
SuperKoderi (development)

UNICEF Lebanon and its partners, BEYOND Association and the Lebanese Organization for Studies and Training, gathered material for this project in the spring and summer of 2016.

UNICEF Lebanon advocates for children and provides educational opportunities for Syrian, Lebanese, Palestinian and Iraqi children. Such programmes would not be possible without the support of Austria, Canada, Estonia, the European Union, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States – whose funding is implemented through local partners in coordination with the Lebanese government.

UNICEF’s Education Projects in Lebanon are implemented under the leadership of the Lebanese Ministry of Education and Higher Education and in partnership with UNHCR, UNESCO and UNRWA.



Launched in 2013, The No Lost Generation Initiative focuses attention on the plight of children affected by the Syrian crisis. It raises the real possibility of  ‘losing’  an entire generation of children to violence and displacement. The initiative puts education and child protection at the centre of the response inside Syria and across the five refugee hosting countries: Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt.