We are a group of students from Harvard, MIT and BU who acknowledge the importance of empowering refugees through education. Under our initiative, our first project consists of an eight-week summer enrichment curriculum program. In collaboration with the Noor Center NGO, this specifically-designed curriculum will be taught to a target group of 40 refugee girls (aged 13) in the camp of Burj el-Barajneh, Lebanon.
Having been born and raised in the Arab world, we all have had first hand experience with the tragedies of the refugee crisis. We recognize that this crisis has had a significant impact on children, families, communities and society as a whole. We also recognize that children, specifically young girls, are particularly vulnerable. In the midst of this crisis, we see a need to use education as tool for empowerment. Thus, we are committed to alleviating their suffering through an educational, informative curriculum that can transform their experience at the camp.
- To highlight the strengths of the students and ways that they can utilize their strengths to improve their communities
- To acknowledge the important roles the students play in their friendships, families and communities
- To highlight the problems in the camps and empower the students to recognize their role in helping to mitigate these problems
- To emphasize the importance of education in the students' lives
- To reflect on the students' support systems in promoting their well being
- To expose the students to the life and norms beyond the refugee camp
- To improve the students' competence in English literacy, writing and oral communication
We have recently finished teaching the curriculum to 33 Palestinian and Syrian refugees between the ages of 14 and 17. It was an incredible experience for both the teachers and the students. Through hands on activities and across the four units, the students were able to tackle prominent issues in the refugee camps such as sexual harassment, drug abuse and sexism. Thanks to the contributions we received, we were able to take the students out on a relevant field trip every week. By the end, each student reflected on the different ways they had been empowered and expressed it through a mural for the rest of the camp to learn from.
Images, videos and more details of our first project can all be found on our website:
We are currently brainstorming new projects for the coming year and we hope to continue receiving your support
Thank you again!