Looking to take action? The LEAP Program supports education for Palestinian refugees

Many people who have already attended a Nakba Tour event have asked about ways they could get involves to assist the Palestinian refugee community.

Below is an application invite to teach English in the Palestinian refugee camps through the Learning for the Empowerment and Advancement of Palestinians (LEAP) Program, which works closely with Palestinian/Lebanese community centers in Lebanon. The LEAP Program is an important opportunity for internationals to not only meet with Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, but to participate in an important educational program.

Although the Nakba Tour is totally in favor of programs like LEAP, the Tour does not have any organizational affiliation with LEAP; we are presenting the opportunity for people who may be interested.  The LEAP Program needs at least one person who is willing to teach English in the camps of Lebanon for the spring semester. Details below.

Apply to the ASPIRE Project and Teach English in the Palestinian Refugee camps of Lebanon!

Deadline: 10 November 2017

Project Dates:

+Spring Term: 3 January – 7 June 2018 

Apply: http://www.leap-program.org/get-involved/aspire-volunteer-application/


LEAP is an educational empowerment program dedicated to nurturing the intellectual growth and creative curiosity of Palestinian refugee-youth in Lebanon so they may become agents of change in their communities.

LEAP aims to raise awareness on the plight of Palestinian refugees, particularly in Lebanon, through volunteer-run educational projects and scholarship opportunities; simultaneously facilitating a rich cultural exchange, and deepening the understanding of Palestinian refugees. It provides a space in which ideas, goals and aspirations can be nurtured to their full potential. Learn more>>>

LEAP carries out several projects. We offer a summer English language program called SHINE (Summer Help In English) as well as our year-long program, ASPIRE. Further description of these projects can be found below.


The National Institution of Social Care and Vocational Training (NISCVT), commonly known as Beit Atfal Assomoud (BAS) is a humanitarian non-governmental, non-sectarian and non-religious organization established in 1976 after the massacre of Tal El-Zaatar camp. The main aim of BAS was to care for the orphaned children who lost both parents and were evacuated from the destroyed camp. Since then, BAS has expanded to 10 family community centers in a majority of the 12 camps of Lebanon seeking to provide a myriad of services addressing the social, educational, and health needs of families through gender-balanced projects empowering children, youth, their parents or guardians, and the community in general. Learn more>>>


Among the approximately 430,000 Palestinian refugees who are registered in Lebanon, there are approximately 9,000 students in middle school.  UNRWA statistics demonstrate that close to half of the students enrolled in middle school do not move on to high school primarily due to failure of the Brevet exam. The Brevet is the national Lebanese exam required for entrance into high school.  Based on the results of the Brevet exam, studies show that there is a direct correlation between English proficiency and Brevet passage rates.  Palestinian students perform above 50 percent in all subjects except English.  Performance in English is the lowest among subject-areas at less than fifteen percent. On average, only one third of the students that enter first grade in UNWRA schools pass through the high school level. By strengthening students’ English language skills and supporting students during their most formative years, Project ASPIRE will address the problem of drop-outs directly by better preparing students for success for the Brevet examination and by nurturing students’ intellectual growth.

The situation for Palestinian refugee youth in the camps in Lebanon is significantly deteriorating for numerous reasons. One primary factor is that social safety networks are deteriorating for Palestinians, as the opportunities and services provided to them have significantly decreased over the years due to competing crises and aid demands in the region. UNRWA funding cuts have resulted in worsening educational services. For example, class sizes have increased to 50 students with only one instructor and class periods are now 45 minutes long. Moreover, student drop-out rates have soared and are at an all-time high.

With many young people in this generation out of school, we are missing the opportunity to educate and guide youth toward a positive trajectory. Instead, many young people are jobless, uneducated, and express feeling lost with little hope for the future due to the lack of opportunities. For these reasons, there is an increasing prevalence of substance abuse among young people as a means of coping with the profound stress they are facing.


In hopes of getting young people back on track to learning and/or staying on track, LEAP and our partner Beit Atfal Assumoud (BAS), engage young people at an early age, while also working with youth and young adults to support them in accessing greater educational opportunities through English acquisition. Project ASPIRE will also incorporate psychosocial support in its programming to support young people and adults alike in adopting positive coping mechanisms to deal with the daily stresses they face.

The ASPIRE project is an extension of LEAP’s SHINE (Summer Help IN English) project. ASPIRE aims to complement students’ UNRWA education by providing English instruction to the kindergarten classes operated in BAS, as well as English remedial courses for both children and adults seeking to learn English to advance their employment opportunities. ASPIRE will focus on placing native English instructors in classes year-long, while also offering additional learning opportunities for young people. Project ASPIRE aims to empower students through education so they may become agents of change in their communities.

LEAP will recruit volunteers, as well as provide educational technical guidance, orientation, and mentoring to ASPIRE volunteers. However, volunteers will be directly managed and supervised by our partner organization BAS. Volunteers will teach English and support in other functions in the center, while living and working in the refugee camps of Lebanon. Learn more about Project ASPIRE>>>


LEAP seeks dynamic, compassionate, and motivated volunteers who enjoy working with young adults and teaching; who value the right to quality education for all people; who maintain respect and diplomacy in their interactions with people of different backgrounds; and who are capable of working under challenging circumstances.

Volunteers must be prepared to work in small classrooms with sporadic electricity, extreme heat, and limited resources. Volunteers must also be able to endure extreme heat and difficult living conditions such as cramped and uncomfortable apartments.  Most importantly, LEAP volunteers must be culturally sensitive and carry themselves in a mature, appropriate, professional and respectful manner at all times during the program with the understanding that they are a representation of both organizations.

After implementing the SHINE summer project for eight years, LEAP seeks to provide more sustainable and consistent educational support year-longfor young people. We strongly encourage interested applicants to apply. This is a unique opportunity to gain an in-depth understanding of the plight of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. The Program has consistently been described as a meaningful, unforgettable experience and we hope that you will join our team! Learn more about getting involved>>>


To apply to Project ASPIRE, please complete the online application before the deadline.  Kindly note that acceptances are made on a rolling basis and we will close the application process when all positions are filled.


Website: www.leap-program.org