School Starts Today

Three days after the appeal went out, 41 kids have been sponsored and 18 have started school Lizzie and Khulood (the coordinator of the scheme) went to six schools this morning, to hand over the cash for the first batch of Iraqi refugee kids stuck in Jordan. They were signed onto the register, collected their books and were in classes by 9.30am. See pictures below. One mother we met in the registration office said she'd decided to sell the family's fridge to pay for her son's fees. Needless to say - not least cos it's 35 degrees in Amman at the moment and you don't want your hummus out in that kind of heat - she was absolutely delighted and wished the sponsors "a good life". All the sponsors - who are from the UK, US, Holland, Bermuda, Australia and New Zealand, by the way - will be getting an email soon confirming which kid they've been paired up with. Plus a photo if there's not one of their kid on this website. We only had 17 kids in the original group, but the word has got out and Khulood's phone is ringing itself crazy with more families hoping their children can go back to school. Even the taxi driver asked whether we could find a sponsor for his nephew.Khulood, an Iraqi refugee herself, says: "This is the biggest project I have ever taken on - and I can't believe how quickly it has all happened. We only thought of the idea two weeks ago when we were interviewing the kids for Franny & Lizzie's film. Meeting all the mothers is so emotional - they are so grateful to all the sponsors and wish that they could meet them all to say thank you and shake their hands. And, personally, this work is making me so happy. I truly find myself when I am helping other people." Still lots more kids wanting to go to school, so if you or anyone you've ever met would like to sponsor one, please join us.

Franny & Lizzie
Spanner Films
27 August 2006


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UPDATE 11th DEC 2006: 131 kids sponsored in total. We're going to get in touch with all the sponsors in July 2007, to see whether they'd like to pay for their kid's next year at school. Read the eye-opening emails the kids wrote to the sponsors here.

UPDATE 23rd SEPT 2006: 98 kids sponsored, 83 started school
Complete list of sponsored kids here.Heartwarming tale: When Khulood went to pay the cash at one of the schools, a teacher said "Where did the money come from?". When Khulood replied that it had been collected from sponsors round the world, the teacher stumbled to a nearby chair, fanned her face and said "There's still good in the world".

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Khulood with the first school fees receipt


Doctor-to-be, ALI picks up his books after registering at his local school


Engineer-in-training, OLA (at the back) had no time to get a uniform as she was woken by her mother half an hour before school with the news that she'd been sponsored and was starting today.


Wannabe pilot SARMAD gets back into the swing of the chalk and blackboard.


Ola's sister AKAL (front left) was also surprised to discover she was starting school this morning.

Accountant-to-be WAALIE, front left, gets on with some maths.