The creation of SOAR-Ainjar continues our efforts to expand SOAR beyond traditional borders. Ainjar, which means “running river,” is a town in Lebanon locked in the Bekaa Valley. The population of Ainjar is approximately 2,400, consisting almost entirely of Armenians. The majority of Ainjar’s Armenians belong to the Armenian Apostolic Saint Paul Church, the second largest Armenian Church in Lebanon. The Armenian Apostolic community has its own school, Haratch Calouste Gulbenkian Secondary School. Our Lady of the Rosary Armenian Catholic Church in Ainjar serves as Church for the Armenian Catholics, who also run the Armenian Catholic Sisters School.
The Armenian Evangelical Church serves the Armenian Evangelical community in Ainjar. Armenian Evangelical Secondary School of Ainjar was established in 1942 as the people of Musa Dagh settled in the middle part of the Bekaa valley in Lebanon. The school has a very unique place in the community since it educated hundreds of children during an era of poverty and disease while parents were concerned with providing a minimum threshold of living for their families. Another uniqueness of the school is its boarding department which was established in 1947 and soon became home for many orphans and children from Lebanon, Syria and the Near East.
The school with its boarding section provides renewed chances to children whose family structure, economic ability and social situation have prevented them from enjoying proper chances in life. In 1955, the school had all cycles of education starting from Kindergarten to elementary, intermediate and secondary classes upon which students have been able to complete their educational requirements within the same environment of tender loving care.
Currently, the school has national and international achievements. Students are receiving scholarships from reputable organizations and institutions via various partnerships like Amideast, Design for Change, Hilfsbund, World Vision…which shows evidence of high academic level and great need of support.
The school is also pioneering in the field of special education with the new “Personalized Education Program” designed for students with special needs, educational difficulties and psychosocial problems empowering them to believe in their abilities and achieve more.
Education, care, social and spiritual services are fundamental rights of every child. The Armenian Evangelical Secondary School and its boarding department are ambassadors of these rights.