Rasha Rafai, Teaching Assistant
Rasha Rafai © 2018, SPARK
Rasha Rifai, 25, comes from Damascus in Syria. She describes growing up with a pleasant life there, surrounded by family and with ample opportunities for her future. After the security situation deteriorated, she fled to Lebanon in 2014, arriving in a country where she knew no one.
Due to the stress of seeking refuge, as well as financial constraints, Rasha was unable to study for a year after her arrival. With a scholarship from SPARK, sponsored by the EU Regional Trust Fund, Madad, Rasha began nursery studies at the Lebanese Al Kayrawan Institute in the Bekaa Valley, on the northern border with Syria.
“For me education is everything, it is the key to a new life”
As an only child, she is the sole breadwinner for her family. Her job has substantially improved the family’s financial situation. She’s grown in confidence and has high hopes for the future.
“For me, education is everything, it is the key to a new life”, says Rasha. She sees education as the vital step that the thousands of other young Syrians need to rebuild their lives. She worries about the ‘lost generation’, who without access to education may never get opportunities to build fruitful careers. She says that educating the youth is necessary for rebuilding Syria after the war. She herself hopes to return one day and use her skills to aid in the process.
Since 2015, SPARK has partnered with the EU Regional Trust Fund, Madad, to provide scholarships to thousands of Syrian and host community youth. Students receive full tuition scholarships, as well as financial assistance to cover costs of study materials, transportation and living expenses. Students also have access to a range of extracurricular activities such as entrepreneurship training and business competitions, student services, language classes and psychosocial support.