Recent Projects


December 2022

JUNE 2022

Here is a piece written by our first volunteer teacher Dan:

I signed up to be Future Academy’s first English teacher in their school at the Burj Barajneh refugee camp, Beirut and arrived in Lebanon in November 2020.


Due to the port blast in Beirut in August, plans were a little behind schedule; in classic Lebanese fashion there was also some bureaucracy to overcome both inside and outside the camp, so when I arrived Future Academy was still in the process of setting up the school and lessons were yet to begin. In a whirlwind of a fortnight Chris (co-founder), Damien (trustee) and I secured the classroom, made it ready for students and delivered our first lessons. Then I was on my own…


The first month (December 2020) was very challenging. With support from Ibrahim and Hamza, my teaching assistants, we assessed the students’ English levels and assigned them to groups to ensure they were being taught and challenged appropriately. However, at that point, the students hadn’t had much schooling for some time (some of them hadn’t been to school for two years!) so a strict timing schedule wasn’t something they were used to. The majority of students arrived late or went to the wrong classes completely, rendering lesson plans almost obsolete within minutes of the lessons’ start. This swiftly taught me to think on-the-hop, and to also have a series of useful games in my back pocket which could be used at a moment’s notice (eg. Bingo, hangman or noughts and crosses, all focussed on a particular element of lexis or grammar). 


By the beginning of 2021 we had an excellent rhythm in the classroom. The students were all assigned to their groups, they started to attend with regularity and began to make good progress. The challenges now were the occasional security scare in the camp, the more frequent power cuts to the classroom and a two week shut down in February due to Covid. (To address the latter we developed a remote learning protocol whereby I prepared and produced differentiated worksheets that the TAs individually hand delivered to, and collected from, the students’ homes).


Power cuts have sadly become a staple in Lebanon. As the economic situation worsened one of the first things to be cut were the hours the state electricity is supplied. As I write this, back in Beirut for another quick tour in August 2021, the state electricity is down for three or four hours per day. And of course the refugee camps are typically even more negatively impacted. But this leads to creative thinking on the part of the teacher…..either employing powerful lamps or torches, or hosting classes in another part of the school where there is more light. 


After 4 months my teaching placement ended and I handed the classes back to Chris. Rather than returning home to the UK I remained in Beirut for a couple of months.This gave me the opportunity to see more of the country and help out as a TA; it was during this time that I was finally able to contemplate the journey over the previous four months. December – March had flown by in a blur of setting up the classroom and lessons, composing lesson plans, delivering lessons, self assessment, contemplating improvement, sourcing materials, iterating the preplanned syllabus based on the students’ ability and executing short and mid term strategies. While one is immersed in that adventure it is difficult to really assess the differences being made to oneself and the students. It wasn’t clear to me until Chris returned and was amazed and impressed with how organised the lessons were, how engaged the students were and, most importantly, how much progress they had made. It was easily the proudest moment of my life having that recognition communicated by the co-founder. I had made a difference.


Anyone reading this and considering undertaking a similar journey with Future Academy should know this is a life changing experience. The students will become important to you. This charity will allow you to grow while giving you all of the support and / or autonomy you need. And Beirut will captivate you.


APRIL 2021

Chris returns to Beirut for another three months teaching the Lions and Tigers classes

December 2020

Volunteer teacher Dan teaching English to some of the 50 children enrolled in Future Academy. In January and February 2021, face-to-face classes were suspended on two occasions; once to ensure the safety of the students and once due to a coronavirus lockdown. Dan helped to implement a remote learning scheme so the students could continue their learning.

November 2020

Volunteer teacher Damien helping to prepare the newly-acquired classroom for the students. Volunteer teachers from the UK work alongside local teaching assistants.

october 2020

English teaching does not have to take place in the classroom; volunteer teacher Chris teaches verbs and adverbs on the football pitch.

Annual Reports

Please click here to view our annual report for the year 2022.

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