Saving a Generation Through Education

The Syrian Civil War is now in its seventh year and has forced millions from their homes and into exile. In neighboring Lebanon, where one out of every four people is now a refugee, there are 500,000 Syrian refugee children living in dire conditions. More than 250,000 of these children are out of school.

The speed and scale of the Syrian catastrophe has forced these refugees into crushing poverty. Syrian refugee children suffer the most serious harm, from the painful scars of physical and psychological trauma, to the lifelong disadvantage of receiving no education. They are becoming a lost generation.

Friends of Kayany is a US public charity that supports the schools built and operated by Kayany Foundation, a Lebanese NGO. The two organisations share the same charitable mission of educating refugee children in a safe and supportive environment. Kayany Foundation has a proven track record of providing refugee children with the quality education they deserve.

Friends of Kayany, Inc. has no political agenda or religious affiliation, and is nonsectarian in all its activities. We are committed to educating all Syrian refugee children. None of our officers or directors receives any compensation or remuneration of any kind from Friends of Kayany, Inc.

Fundraising and Impact

In 2013 founding members of the U.S. charity Friends of Kayany, working with Kayany Foundation, organised Syri-Arts, a charity auction of Middle Eastern art that was held in Beirut, Lebanon. Some of the region’s most prominent artists donated their works, and the event raised in excess of $1 million. With this money Kayany Foundation began educating Syrian refugee children.

In its first year Kayany Foundation established two schools for refugee students. Today, thanks to the generous support of individual donors and international partnerships, Kayany Foundation has a total of seven schools, which educate nearly 3,500 Syrian children at an average annual cost of $650 per student.

Kayany’s partners include the American University of Beirut, the Boghossian Foundation, the European Union, The Malala Fund, Reach Out to Asia, the Ministry of Social Affairs, Jesuit Refugee Services (JRS), Save the Children, the United Nations Women for Peace Association and many other internationally prominent organisations.



Carol Kenner

President of Friends of Kayany,
Inc. and retired U.S. judge

Wassim Rasamny

Founding member of Kayany
Foundation and of
Friends of Kayany, Inc.

Aida Sharabati Shawwaf

Founding member of Kayany
Foundation and of
Friends of Kayany, Inc.