On World Refugee Day, we celebrated a milestone.
We joined forces with Education Above All to celebrate 10,000 scholarships awarded to refugees, IDPs and youth from host communities.
Her Majesty Queen Máxima of The Netherlands and Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser of Qatar spoke with several Syrian students during the virtual celebration across social media.
Both inspiring and influential women work tirelessly to advocate for the education of vulnerable young people around the world.
Keep scrolling to learn more.
Learn more about the Syrian students and graduates who joined the virtual celebration.
Nowar Rahmouni, Lebanon
Nowar Rahmouni received a scholarship from SPARK and the European Union in 2016. She went on to graduate with a degree in Radio & TV from the Lebanese International University.
While studying, Nowar attended several economic empowerment workshops. In May 2018, she established her small business, Gharna Halabi. Gharna is an online store that sells famous organic products coming straight from Aleppo. Nowar is also an active member of the student community, leading SPARK’s Alumni Network.
Noor Jouma'a, Jordan
Noor studied Accounting with a scholarship from SPARK and Al Fakhoora, a programme by Education Above All. She excelled in it and achieved the highest grade in all of Jordan in the comprehensive exam!
When she graduated she was offered a job within the financial department of her college, Luminus Technical University College. Now, she hopes to complete her BA and Master’s degrees to become a qualified Accounting instructor.
Rami Alfarhan, Lebanon
Rami is studying for a Public Relations Bachelor’s degree at the Lebanese International University with a scholarship from SPARK and Al Fakhoora, a programme by Education Above All.
“This scholarship changed my life” says Rami. During a Civic Leadership class, Rami decided he wanted to give back to his community. For two years, he’s been volunteering with UNHCR, Makzhoumi Foundation and the Lebanese Red Cross by helping children living on the streets.
Jouman Najjar, Turkey
Jouman Najjar, 27, studied Food Engineering at the University of Gaziantep in Turkey. During her studies she participated in the Economic Empowerment programme by SPARK and Al Fakhoora, a programme by Education Above All, where she developed her business plan.
“We are facing too many problems everyday, and we are overcoming these problems just to achieve one goal: to return to Syria and rebuild it. I’m doing this just so that one day I can return to Syria and let the Syrian women shine”.
Kubar Msho, Iraq
Kubar is a 19-year-old Syrian refugee based in Erbil, Kurdistan Region of Iraq who recently started studying Media and Journalism at Nobel Institute with a scholarship from SPARK and the European Union.
Kubar didn’t know it, but she was our 10,000th scholarship awardee.
Scroll down to watch how we surprised her.
Supported by incredible partners
Over the last six years, many governments, foundations and multilateral organisations have supported SPARK to scale up the number of scholarships available for vulnerable youth, including refugees, IDPs and women, across the Middle East.
Working with local organisations
We’ve partnered with dozens of higher education institutions in Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and the Palestinian Territories to create higher education opportunities that ensure youth have relevant skills for the labour market.
Who are scholarships for?
Conflict, displacement and the crisis in Syria have left many young people across the Middle East without opportunities to study and work. Our scholarships target the most in need – women, refugees and vulnerable members of host communities.
Where do we offer scholarships?
Turkey continues to host the largest number of refugees worldwide, with close to 4.1 million refugees. Lebanon hosts the largest number of refugees per capita. We support education and employment opportunities in countries where it is needed most.
But our scholarships don’t stop at education. We focus on jobs.
We provide extra courses in skills necessary for the labour market
We link graduates to internships and remote work opportunities
37% of scholarship graduates are now employed
Watch the celebration with
Queen Máxima and Sheikha Moza bint Nasser.