Syrian Refugee Boy Wins International Children’s Peace Prize
London: A teenage Syrian refugee won a prestigious international prize for building a school and providing education to hundreds of children who fled to Lebanon to escape the conflict. Mohamad Al Jounde was just 12 years old when he decided to set up a school in the Bekaa Valley refugee camp, enlisting his relatives and volunteers to help construct the building and teach a range of subjects from English and Maths to photography. Three years on, the school has more than 200 students, some as young as five, several professional teachers and offers gender equality lessons and literacy classes for adult refugees. “I felt happy to be not just a teacher, but a friend, and we became a family – we are stronger together,” said Jounde, the 2017 winner of the annual International Children’s Peace Prize.”This is not just about teaching reading and writing, but giving young refugees a safe space to express themselves,” the 16-year-old told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone.