Conference Brings Together Leaders to Discuss Successful Integration of Syrian Refugees in Europe
June 7, 2016, Berlin – Jusoor held a conference in Berlin on June 4th, 2016, engaging corporations, non-profit organizations, government officials, and community leaders around the themes of higher education, career development, and social integration of newly arrived Syrians to Europe.
In partnership with the German Academic Service Organization (DAAD) and the Free University of Berlin, the event brought together close to 200 participants. There were two panels, on higher education and economic opportunities, which focused on Germany as a case study, and included speakers from DAAD, the Free University of Berlin, Employment Agency Berlin-South, Network of Companies to Integrate Refugees, Workeer, and Refugees on Rails.
“I was very impressed by the speaker’s stories and went home with plenty of fresh ideas and contacts. The group of people present was truly diverse, engaged, inspiring and open to discussion. I’m especially re-energised to keep on doing our modest CV volunteer work,” says conference speaker Jeroen van Marle from Secret Escapes, a small business whose employees had started an initiative on their own to help.
The highlight of the conference was the short “Lightning Talks,” designed to showcase best practices in the areas of informal education, innovative technology-based interventions, and social integration.Speakers included Kiron (online university), Syrian Researchers (science teaching platform), Libraries without Borders (access to libraries), NetHope (connection to the cloud), the Global Platform for Syrian Students (starting an international emergency response mechanism for higher education), Syrian Music Lives (preserving heritage), Syrisches Haus (sharing information to facilitate resettlement), and SINGA (professional mentorship).
“The most powerful aspects we have discovered from previous conferences are the networking and human contact. The participants’ energy was impressive, and it showed especially at the workshops held towards the end of the day, where they discussed creative solutions, shared experiences, and seemed to have increased their inspiration as individuals and organizations to be involved in addressing the refugee crisis,” said Maya Alkateb-Chami, Director of Jusoor.
The keynote address was delivered by Mr. Salman Shaikh, who gave an overview of the refugee crisis and a call to action, and the conference was followed by Jusoor’s Annual Fundraising Dinner, which involved traditional Syrian music and an art auction, and inspired philanthropy to support our scholarship program “100 Syrian Women, 10,000 Syrian Lives,” and the construction of a school in the Jurrahiya Camp in Lebanon.
We would like to thank the conference and fundraising dinner volunteers, who were crucial in making both events great successes, the inspiring speakers, and the participants in the events. Our thanks also go to the donors at the fundraising dinner, who collectively pledged EUR 165,000 in donations for our programs. Your generosity is what allows us to touch the lives of Syrian children and youth and help them achieve their dreams. THANK YOU.
The Jusoor Leadership Team
Rami Zayat, Abu Dhabi
Iyad Duwaji, Los Angeles
Leen Al Zaibak, Toronto
Fadi Salem, Oxford
Aziza Osman, Dubai
Rania Succar, San Francisco
JP Chilazi, Boston
Dania Ismail, Dubai
Director: Maya Alkateb-Chami, Philadelphia