On December 1st, Jusoor was delighted to hold an in-person fundraising event raising money for our life-changing Early Childhood Education (ECE) Programme, featuring award-winning comedian James Acaster.
In the beautiful setting of Stone Nest, a historic and hidden gem tucked away in the heart of Shaftesbury Avenue, 150 supporters gathered to learn more about Jusoor. Our interactive exhibition showcased some of the stories of the impact we have had on the lives of vulnerable children affected by the conflict in Syria.
We were grateful to receive a generous donation of wine from Ixsir winery, one of the highest vineyards in the world located in the historical mountains of Batroun, Lebanon. This complimented the delicious food from Toum & Tahini, an up-and-coming Middle Eastern food company in the UK, who served Baba Ganoush, and Chicken and Chickpea Fatteh.
Grace Atkinson, Executive Director of Jusoor, spoke about the ECE Programme which is uniquely designed for the needs of refugee children. Maximizing the practical application of learning, incorporating psychosocial support, and providing warm clothes and food is part of our holistic approach to providing a safe place to learn and play. Richard, our Head of Fundraising at Jusoor, then introduced Omar Altenbkji, one of our scholars through our partnership with Chevening who is studying for a Master’s in Development Studies at the University of Sussex. Omar spoke to the audience about his motivation for studying, his dreams and goals, and the impact of his experience as a refugee. Both Omar and Lina Othman, another Chevening scholar attending the event, are such inspiring individuals who evidence the long-term and multiplying effect of providing scholarships for refugees.
This was followed by James Acaster, a globally acclaimed comedian, who generously agreed to perform at our event. We can comfortably say on behalf of those in attendance that James Acaster had us all in hysterics. Reminiscing on his own childhood memories, he actually stayed for longer than he committed to, much to the gratitude of his enraptured audience.
The December 1st event was followed by an intimate sit-down dinner the next day with the guests of board members generously hosted by Kareem Sakka. After learning more about the Scholarships Programme at Jusoor, generous pledges were made which will enable four individuals to receive hardship loans to complete university in Jordan and Lebanon, three children to receive United World Colleges to complete their IB diplomas, and two individuals to attend their Master’s degree in Canada or the UK.
Overall, more than £111,000 GBP was raised for our ECE and Scholarships Programmes. We are so grateful to all who attended and we hope to hold more and more events in the future. As mentioned by Richard on the night, we invite everyone based in and around London to join our Give Every Month (GEM) group. We will be attending events across London that showcase Syrian talent and educate about refugees and the situation in Syria and Lebanon. We hope to see you there!