A warm classroom is a productive classroom

A UNIFIL Malaysian peacekeeper warming up with kindergarten school children next to a heater donated by UNIFIL to Deir Kifa Public school, South Lebanon.

During the recent cold snap in Lebanon, young students at Deir Keifa Public School were attending class in full outdoor winter clothing.

A student tried to keep warm in a school without heaters at Deir Kifa Public school. Because of the cold, attendance nearly halved in some classes.

UNIFIL Malaysian peacekeepers and students unloading one of the ten donated heaters to Deir Kifa Public School, South Lebanon.

It works and it’s warm! A UNIFIL peacekeeper and some kindergarten children huddle around one of ten heaters donated by UNIFIL to Deir Kifa Public School, South Lebanon.

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1 Feb 2016

A warm classroom is a productive classroom

When the temperature drops in South Lebanon you really feel it. Particularly in the local schools. Most of these buildings have single glazed windows, and the concrete walls provide no insulation from the wintery chill.

Deir Kifa public school is no different. Ahlam Naim, the kindergarten teacher, knows precisely how the cold impacts her students: "Whenever we pass through this period of extremely cold weather, the students productivity declines and they don't follow lessons effectively because they are so cold."

On a recent visit to the school, UNIFIL civil affairs team were concerned by how cold the school was. They were not surprised to see most of the children wearing layers of wintery clothes to keep warm. They also noted half of the kindergarten class were absent because of the cold. "This was a very strong reason to start this project," said UNIFIL Civil Affairs Officer Maruis Campean.

On 27 January 2016, UNIFIL donated 10 Gas heaters to Deir Kifa public school with the assistance of UNIFIL's Malaysian contingent. Campean noted, "It's very important to move quickly in these types of projects. Today is a particularly cold day, it's about 7'C and the stoves are coming just in time for the cold weather."

The first heater was turned on the kindergarten room, and the young children rushed forward to warm their small hands by the heater. Soon all 60 students will feel the warmth of heaters in each of their classrooms. Nasab Ramadan, the school's principal knows the long term benefits that will come from this donation, "We wanted to equip the classes with heaters so the children can feel warm and be productive, because we know how the cold bothers the children. This project came at the perfect time, and is exactly what we need."

Article: Aoibheann O'Sullivan
Video Editor: Aoibheann O'Sullivan, Ghifar Charafeddine
Video Camera: Aoibheann O'Sullivan
Photo: Pascual Gorriz Marcos