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Mohammad al-Jounde is now a 16-year-old living in Sweden with an open smile and a talent for learning languages. For his efforts in securing access to education for Syrian refugees in Lebanon, he is currently one of three finalists for the International Children's Peace Prize, awarded once a year by the humanitarian organization KidsRights Foundation. Despite the efforts of humanitarian organizations to increase the numbers of Syrian children in school, in the last academic year, 280,000 children were estimated to have received no education at all.The refugees were evicted and Jounde's dream of building a school was put back to square one.However, Jounde was able to build a second school in Al-Marj shortly after, thanks to contributions from a number of NGOs.According to Khaled Khito, the school's director, most of the students come from the camps and have no access to formal education.Khito insisted that he encourages all families to first try to enroll their kids in formal education. If this is not possible, he said the informal school alleviates part of the plight. Mohammad left Lebanon and the school he helped establish to join his father in Sweden, where he had emigrated hoping to better provide for the family.
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