George Clooney is one of those celebs who, despite consistently putting their name to great causes, just seems a bit irritating. Kind of like Bono from U2, but with less singing and more adverts for fancy coffee.
We reckon people (read: us) feel this way as they’re incredibly jealous of his success. Along with his acting career, Clooney’s wife, Amal, is an international human rights lawyer who’s worked for the United Nations, and together they form a force for good so powerful that it really makes us normies look pathetic in comparison. Still, we’ve occasionally got to push our envy aside and salute their work, especially when it’s this vital.
Earlier this week, George and Amal said they will help 3,000 Syrian refugee children go to school this year in Lebanon, where the UN says 200,000 children are not receiving any education after fleeing the conflict in neighbouring Syria.
The couple’s foundation, the Clooney Foundation for Justice said it has teamed up with tech giants Google and HP Inc to help Unicef – the UN’s children’s agency – and the Lebanese ministry of education open seven so-called ‘second shift’ schools for Syrian refugee children.
There are over one million Syrian refugees in Lebanon, and over half of them are children. The country is currently educating some of these children in public schools through a ‘second shift’ system, meaning they are taught in additional afternoon classes exclusively for them.
In a statement, the couple said: ‘Thousands of young Syrian refugees are at risk – the risk of never being a productive part of society. Formal education can help change that.’
Google, HP and the Clooneys’ foundation will donate a total of $3.25 million to pay for transportation, school supplies, computers, content, curriculum and teacher training.
It’s an incredibly generous gesture that will help thousands. In the same statement we mentioned earlier, the couple said: ‘We don’t want to lose an entire generation because they had the bad luck of being born in the wrong place at the wrong time.’
While this is obviously referring to Syrian refugee children, we’d all do well to remember this message as it makes a wider point about humility and understanding. Bad situations can happen to anyone, and they almost always come about thanks to an accident of time or place.
We’re not saying that you need to donate a few mil like the Clooneys, but do try to not take the rights we’re so lucky to have, like education, for granted. After all, there are kids out there who have very little access to it.
Featured image credit: Sky News.