January 3, 2018

Awarding 589 New Scholarships Across the MENA Region

No one wanting an education should be left behind. This is why SPARK, in collaboration with Al Fakhoora, are ensuring young talented people who have been hit by war and post-conflict, have the opportunity to fulfil their potential.

On the 13th and 15th of December 2017, the cities of Gaza, Beirut, Gaziantep and Amman held special scholarship awarding ceremonies for students who are in most need of access to education. They had been selected to receive a scholarship under our Dynamic Futures Scholarships Programme, which aims to tackle the need for immediate access to education for Syrian refugees in the Middle East. Our programme has become the leading provider of scholarships for these young people, with a total of 4,400 young people enrolled since 2015. The new students will now join leading universities and vocational institutes in the region, such as Gaziantep University in Turkey, the American University of Science and Technology in Lebanon and the Al Quds College in Jordan.

The award ceremonies were held to congratulate all 589 students for obtaining the scholarship and entering this new chapter in their lives. Students were invited to celebrate education, talent and leadership through activities, music and engaging workshops.

To prepare students for this important phase, SPARK and Al Fakhoora invited brilliant professionals to deliver life-changing workshop to students. One of our speakers in Lebanon, was Daena Al Monjed, Vice-President of JCI Syria. She conveyed to students the importance of lateral thinking, of verbal and non-verbal communication and time-management skills.

In Gaziantep, Mustafa Afyouni, the Rector of the University of Aleppo, stressed the importance of education to heal Syria from the ravages of war. He talked about the colossal number of orphans and widows and the urgency to provide them with educational and economic opportunities to become self-reliant.

One of the student speakers, Nowar Rahmouni, shared her story. She told students that she had lost hope in pursuing her studies until she find out about the scholarships for Syrians that SPARK and Al Fakhoora are funding under the Dynamic Futures Programme. She said that “Education is power. If you have knowledge, you have power.’’

Due to the unprecedented interest in the scholarships, the preparations for the next intake of students are already underway. The main focus of the Dynamic Futures programme is to continue to help shape confident, community-minded and professionally skilled youth. The programme was initiated within SPARK’s Higher Education for Syrians and Palestinians which currently operates within Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq/KRG and Jordan, offering scholarships to Syrian refugees and vulnerable youth from the host countries.