Syria has now entered its 10th year of conflict. Over 6.6 million Syrians are internally displaced and 5.6 million Syrians have fled into neighboring countries. The vast majority of refugees now live in poverty in neighboring countries; in Lebanon, the country with the largest refugee-to-host community ratio, around 70% of Syrian refugees live below the poverty line. More than 2.8 million children are out of school inside Syria and in neighboring countries. It is critical that these children do not miss out on an education – they will be the generation to rebuild Syria.
What is Jusoor doing?
Jusoor’s Refugee Education Program in Lebanon educates over a thousand Syrian children and youth a year. Our innovative programs are designed to help close gaps in education, allowing children to transition into formal education. They also provide extra learning support once they are there to increase success. Jusoor also provides psychosocial support and assists families with the supplies they need for their children’s education such as lunches, workbooks and stationery, and warm clothes. Under the Scholarship and Mentorship program, more Syrian youth have been able to access higher education and expand their opportunities at universities across the world. Jusoor also supports Syrian start-ups through bootcamps, mentorships, and competitions, in order to facilitate the creation of a strong collaborative community of entrepreneurs.Here are 10 things you can do to help
1- Sponsor a child’s education
By donating $50 a month, you can sponsor one of the children at one of Jusoor's education centers with the supplies and support they need to catch up on educational gaps and transition into formal education.
2- Become a mentor for Syrian youth
If you have experienced higher education and want to share your experiences and support others through the process of finding suitable universities and applying, why not sign up to be a mentor? Jusoor matches mentees and mentors based on the country, university, or field of study that the student is interested in applying to. Mentors usually provide support over a 3 month period to up to 3 mentees. Learn more about the academic mentorship project.
3- Buy merchandise created by Syrian entrepreneurs
Buy a gift for yourself or others from a shop like Sharqi which sells ornate items handcrafted by Syrian artisans in Jordan. For more home decor or protective face masks you can go to Made51, or check out Bebemoss for a range of knitted toys made by Syrian refugees and underprivileged communities in Turkey. Buying something that celebrates traditional Syrian crafts and pays refugees a livable wage is a great way that you can make a difference.
4- Host a fundraiser / Host a birthday fundraiser on Facebook
Celebrate your birthday this year by giving a child the gift of education. Host a fundraiser on Facebook asking friends and family to donate what they would usually spend on a present or party to a charity.
5- Host a refugee in your home
Do you have a spare room? Have you considered offering the room as a temporary shelter for someone who was forced to flee their country? Most refugees from Syria have used up any savings and been forced to sell or abandon assets. By volunteering to be a host you could provide temporary relief allowing families or individuals the safety and comfort to focus on processes of asylum seeking, finding work, and rebuilding their lives. Go to charities such as Room for Refugees or Refugees at Home to sign up to be a host.
6- Ask your University to support a refugee scholar
Jusoor has a holistic, responsive, and self-sustaining scholarship program which helps Syrian students looking to complete their studies abroad, attain academic scholarships at top universities across the US, Canada, Europe, and the Middle East. If you are a student or alumni of a university or technical college, ask them if they are open to hosting a Syrian scholar, and let Jusoor know if they are keen to partner on firstname.lastname@example.org
7- Become a monthly donor
At Jusoor, we have a range of opportunities for monthly giving, your money will go directly to whichever cause you to choose whether it is sponsoring a child’s education, sponsoring a teacher, helping to provide a scholarship for higher education, or a general donation to wherever it is most needed.
8- Share the stories of Syrians
Tell their stories. The war in Syria has lasted for 10 years; we have heard the statistics and seen pictures of refugees in the past, yet their plight has dropped out of mainstream media. The stories of Syrian refugees who have been successful despite every obstacle placed in their way are newsworthy and should be celebrated. We have compiled a list of 10 successful Syrians whose stories inspired us the most, but there are so many out there.
9- Learn a language from a refugee
Initiatives such as NaTakallam offer award-winning, high-quality language learning programs delivered by refugees, for all levels of Arabic, Armenian, French, Kurdish, Persian and Spanish, as well as professional translation services to individuals and organizations worldwide.
10- Volunteer in a Refugee Camp
Volunteer your time, skills and knowledge with organizations who offer volunteering opportunities. You would get the chance to meet with the children in the camp, and be able to be part of their growing and fun experiences. Over the years, numerous volunteers have had the chance to immerse themselves in a new culture via Jusoor’s Summer Volunteer program. Volunteers benefit from the teachings of our knowledgeable teachers, and contribute to the creation of summer programs for the children.