The value of education can never be underestimated for it tackles the root causes of poverty, opening up vast opportunities for economic improvement. The Trust strives to advance impoverished communities through education, and has been involved in funding grants for basic and higher education since it’s inception in 1997. Undergraduates have been supported for degrees in medicine and engineering, and full sets of reports for the younger children are regularly sent to sponsoring donors.
1. Lebanon: The Trust is currently assisting special needs children from war torn Lebanon develop their abilities, and become as self-reliant as possible. Many of these children have learning disabilities, are motor or speech impaired, or are deaf. With special care and therapy, they will have a future to look forward to. Also, the Trust has supported bright students attend university by helping with tuition fees. Recently, a 24year old female student was assisted with her tuition fees, registration, transport and books, enabling her to complete her computer technician’s degree course in Beirut. Without LFT’s assistance, she would have been forced to discontinue her studies in order to support her little girl, mother and three sisters. After graduation, she will be able to work as a teacher or as a computer technician with a private company. Her initial salary will be about $600, double what she earns now. She will thus be able to continue supporting her family while also building her own life.
3. Iran: The Kha’zali School for the Blind is the first school for blind children established in Iran, and is situated in downtown Tehran. All the 101 blind students come from poor families, and the school seeks to provide them with a cane, talking books to assist them with independent studying and a special typewriter to enable them to write. Without the opportunity to study, these children may well be condemned to a life of dependency and isolation. The Trust has assisted the school acquire a number of pieces of equipment so that they can improve the facilities offered.
With the assistance of some educated refugees, informal schools have been established to educate Afghan and Iraqi children living in Iran. LFT continues to assist The Imam Mehdi School, which primarily serves to educate children from the neediest of families. It costs just £31 per child on registration, but families with several children often have to take out a bank loan to pay for this. In spite of this, the number of students has doubled due to the recruitment of better staff and LFT’s assistance in paying their salaries.
4.Afghanistan: In September 2009, LFT established a Skills Training Center for refugees in Qum. The center is equipped with six computers and six sewing machines and has the capacity of teaching 96 trainees annually in each subject. IRAC selected the participants from more than 40 applicants according to a set of priority indicators including families living on $1/person/day,trainee is head-of-family and no capable male breadwinner. It costs just £52 to train a person in a marketable skill that enables them and their family to become self-sufficient and live in dignity.
4. India: The Trust has been involved in funding grants for basic and higher education since it began in 1997. St Paul’s School in Mysore, India was founded in 1980 with the aim of offering an affordable education to students coming from poor families. LFT is sponsoring 68 students at this school. Without the Trust’s assistance, these children would not go to school and would almost certainly end up in workshops doing child labour.