The care we are called to give, the love we are meant to show, the support we should provide are Christ-like characteristics that we are entrusted to live out to the world as a glimpse of the heavenly comfort provided by our Father’s Kingdom. At SKILD, we endeavor to live out these characteristics on a daily basis by showing God’s unconditional love to the hopeless, vulnerable and the marginalized.
Our journey started eight years ago when we first started working with private and public schools. As students were graduating from school and embarking on a new educational adventure, we realized that the journey for students with special needs ended there, as there is no adequate place or support at Lebanese universities.
It therefore seemed only natural that our next frontier should be universities! Convinced of the necessity to ensure a continuum of care, SKILD partnered with Notre Dame University–Louaize (NDU), a reputable Lebanese Catholic higher education institution, to take on this new challenge. An MOU was signed on August 2nd covering the following tracks:
1) Supporting university students with special needs through an on-campus SKILD support office.
2) Providing NDU students majoring in psychology and special education with internship opportunities in one SKILD's programs.
3) Providing individuals with cognitive challenges specialized courses that would facilitate their integration into the work force.
4) Providing educators and community members with certified courses on various special education topics.
5) Establishing a SKILD Center on NDU’s campus to serve children with special needs coming from nearby areas, where the special needs services are scarce.
The SKILD-NDU Center will offer support to students with learning difficulties, raise awareness on the importance of inclusion, organize capacity building workshops for educators and school administrators, and provide proper orientation for learning difficulties.
This partnership models a new narrative for Lebanon and the region. A model that does not compromise competency for compassion.
As we celebrate this milestone for inclusiveness in higher education in Lebanon, we pray that such endeavors may bring about tangible and visible fruits and that it may serve as a beacon of hope to many.