With its innovative volunteer mentor programme, MMKN is helping to keep teenagers in school and giving them the chance of a better future. 

Facts & Figures
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  • Location: Hamra, Beirut, Lebanon
  • Alfanar Investee Since: 2015
  • Total Alfanar Investment: £130,883
  • Social Impact: 6,787 lives impacted
  • Website: https://www.mmkn.org/
  • Supported By:
  • SDGs:

The Challenge 

The Lebanese public school system is struggling to cope with the needs of an exploding refugee population – many children leave school without basic literacy. Dropout rates are high, peaking at 4th and then 9th grade, a time when students take the “brevet” exam, which is decisive as to whether they are able to continue to high school. With a public education system that was already struggling before the beginning of the Syrian conflict, the education system has stretched to breaking point by the need to cope with an estimated 600,000 additional refugee children, many of whom have missed multiple years of education, leaving them far behind their peers.

The Organisation

MMKN, meaning ‘It’s possible’ in Arabic, recruits and trains University students to become volunteer tutors. Using a curriculum developed by MMKN to reinforce brevet-level public school teaching, students coach disadvantaged pupils to ensure that they are ready to take the exam. The results speak for themselves: over the past 4 years, MMKN has created a network of 483 volunteer tutors to reach 4,227 students across Lebanon, 96% of whom passed their brevet exam. 

What has been Achieved with Alfanar's Support

Alfanar has supported MMKN to improve its social impact by increasing the number of students attending its Public School Support Programme. This includes expanding the programme to new schools and further refining MMKN's curriculum and programme. 

Additionally, Alfanar has helped MMKN to improve its cost recovery by establishing a fee-based after-school programme to subsidise its work with disadvantaged children. Since the start of 2017, the Study Room has delivered 1057 hours of private tutoring to 71 students from various private universities and high schools, employing 49 of MMKN’s University Students tutors. In 2016, the Study Room generated 11% of MMKN's total income; by 2017 this rose to 38%.

I teach at an all girls public school in Zarif. I was demotivated when I started, as I couldn’t get them to pay attention. I just couldn’t establish a connection. Finally, I resorted to ‘game-ifying’ classes and homework - in other words, using games and incentives to make the work fun. Suddenly my remedial class grew from 5 students to 15, just by word of mouth about how much fun it is! This simple approach goes a long way in ensuring that the students are engaged and enthusiastic about lessons. I also asked them all to make a wish at the start of the year, write it down and then reflect on it at the end of the school year to determine how close we got to achieving these wishes. They often seemed surprised at my request at first, but by the end of the year they were so happy to see just how far they had progressed.

Rayana, MMKN volunteer tutor

Alfanar's Investment: Looking Ahead

With the introduction of the new SAT, a major need for tutoring has been identified and will be added to the Study Room services. The revenue for the Study Room is forecasted at a 100% year-on-year growth for the next 5 years. Alfanar will continue to offer management assistance to MMKN, and will be taking steps to liaise with the MMKN team to establish what support they require during the ongoing protests in Lebanon, as these have impacted the operation of schools in the country.