In Summer of 2016, my family and I went to Lebanon, where we worked with Syrian refugee children. There were approximately 40 kids, ages 8 to 12, who were from two different  camps. We spent a week teaching them English, music, and basic programming. It was a remarkable, eye-opening and rewarding experience.

Many of these children have lived in makeshift tents in refugee camps for most of their lives and have little to no recollection of their now-war-torn motherland, Syria. Most of them have very little education and have never gone to school. Instead, they spend their days in cramped tents or out in the fields, helping their parents earn a few dollars a day harvesting crops.

We believe education is very important for these children. Going back to Syria to attend school is highly unlikely and dangerous, and while Lebanon does to an extent permit refugees to attend its schools, it can be costly and the children are very much behind in their education. By bonding with and teaching these kids, we hope to develop in them an enthusiasm for learning, help them get on the right educational path, and, perhaps, show them a brighter future with endless possibilities. This is why

Click here to learn more about the 2016 trip and how we decided to get involved.

Click here to learn more about the Mathys family.

After our trip to Lebanon, my mother, Elena, and my sister, Xenia, decided to continue teaching music to the children. Almost every Friday night, they taught various operas and ballets via Skype to several small groups of children that were selected by their good behavior and interest in music during the summer class session. It was a wonderful and generous initiative that not only brought joy and excitement to the kids, but also caught the eye of a local newspaper. To read about the Skype lessons, please click here.