Generation Hope: Jusoor Refugee Education Program
Generation Hope started as a fundraising campaign to sustain the operation of three schools providing education to 1250 Syrian refugee kids in Lebanon hosted in three schools run by Jusoor, in addition to some 400 students hosted in public schools. There is, of course, a constant need to fundraise in order to sustain the schools, the quality of education and the fulfill needs of the students. Therefore, Generation Hope carried out its operations throughout 2015.
1. To create safe zones for Syrian refugee children in Lebanon where some 400.000 Syrian kids took refuge with only 25% of them in schools.
2. To invest in the local capacities and qualifications of the displaced communities by hiring and training Syrian staff for the schools.
3. To establish and maintain cross-borders and international solidarity with Syrians by bringing volunteers from all over the world to the three schools in Lebanon, where they taught languages, led professional development courses for the Syrian staff and designed recreational programs for the kids.
HOW THE OBJECTIVES WERE ACHIEVED
In order to raise the required funds to run and maintain schools, Generation Hope and Jusoor approached several donors engaging them in multidimensional fundraising effort. For instance, Jusoor engaged Chalhoub Group, an expert in retail, distribution and marketing services and the largest luxury holding company in the Middle East. At the same time, the organization approached MBC group, a leading media company watched by millions around the Middle East, donated free Ad spots during Ramadan season showcasing the hopes of Jusoor’s young students. Ramadan is the Muslim holy month during which numbers of TV users reach unprecedent numbers (an example of employed Ads here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZcTpxMULGiE. However, Jusoor also engaged Syrian families in the diaspora through annual conferences in London and Los Angeles for the past two years, but also through online donations to reach the biggest audience possible of the globally dispersed Syrian diaspora.
By engaging the Arab World in the prospects of Syrian kids’ education, achieved through MBC Media Group channel and platforms https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHsCp5j8RSk.
By engaging the key stakeholders in this crisis; Syrians themselves.The importance of the donations of the global Syrian community stretches beyond the financial aspect. It assists in creating an environment in which everyone by different means can contribute and consequently create a sense of transnational solidarity among Syrians.
Finally, Generation Hope, through its International Summer Volunteer Program, aims to engage global youth community. It brings youth from around the globe to contribute to the different activities of the program.
1. Creating safe zones for 1250 Syrian refugee children in three different locations across Lebanon, where they can access quality education and recreational activities away from the daily discourse of war and the reality of displacement.
2. Utilizing the Syrian labour force by Hiring some 46 Syrians, from within the displaced communities to Lebanon, for the service of the program, such as; teachers, administrators, etc.
3. Bringing more than 200 volunteers from around the globe with different areas of expertise. These volunteers function as ambassadors of the Generation Hope Program in their respective countries.
4. Engaging the Syrian diaspora in sustaining the resilience of other Syrians.
Reaching as many Syrians as possible around the globe stands as one of the biggest challenges for Generation Hope Campaign. To sustain the schools and their activities donations should come regularly.
Delivering the quality education we have sat for the schools required developing structured training programs for our teachers who endured a lot of hardships and finally started reconstructing their lives in Lebanon.
Generation Hope highlighted the variety of roles that can be played by Syrians whether they are refugees in the countries neighbouring Syria or members of the Syrian diaspora around the globe. Through the Syrian staff of Jusoor schools, we can see how people can claim their agency and contribute actively to the reconstruction of their very own life, shall they be given the necessary tools; in this case; access to labour market and structured and professional training.
Moreover and after running the campaign during 2015, it is, indeed, possible to fundraise for critical questions such as education when approached innovatively. Education has been always on the agenda of all major organization around the globe but little is being done to overcome the dilemma of the “lost generation” of Syrians. Therefore, Generation Hope is an example of what can be achieved by Syrians for Syrians.