03.04.17 | News, Project of the Month

What Became of Iman

In April, the project of the month comes from Lebanon
A girl at the Johann Ludwig Schneller school

Girls and boys at the Schneller schools have the chance for a better future. (Photo: EMS/Waltz)

Currently, 301 children attend the Johann Ludwig Schneller school (JLSS) in Lebanon. 91 of them live in the ten living groups of the boarding school. In November 2009, editor of the Schneller magazine, Katja Dorothea Buck, visited the school. She got to know one of the girls who was living at the girls' home and attended the school for six years: twelve-year-old *Iman. Her family lived in a small house somewhere in the fields of the Bekaa valley. It was a long way for the girl to school and she had to take several shared taxis to get there. Imans family lived in two rooms. There was no bathroom, no chairs and no table. Along the walls there were a couple of mattresses and sofas, the small oil stove could only heat one room. Iman had no girlfriends there since the hut was far away from anywhere. The toys, the children had were a Barbie doll, a jigsaw puzzle and a teddy bear. Imans mother was very happy that her daughter was attending the Schneller school even though the family found it difficult to spare enough money for the fares to the school and back. But the mother wanted a better life for her daughter one day. And back then, with all her self-confidence, Iman knew: She wanted to become an astronaut.

The memory of the little girl stayed in Katja Dorothea Buck's mind ever since. During a visit seven years later, she asked about Iman and got to know her younger sister who is now also living at the Johann Ludwig Schneller school. She told her, that Iman had graduated from the school and was now studying economics on a grant at the Hariri University in the Bekaa valley. A big step for a girl coming from a poor background.

*real name withheld

This article was published originally in the Schneller magazine 01/2017.