Dear Jusoor friends and family,
April was an exciting month for helping Syrian youth realize their potential. Just last month, Devex.com, the world’s leading platform for the global development community, named Jusoor one of the top ten global startups that are rethinking global educational practices.We also held our Third Annual Entrepreneurship Competition, capped off the 2016-2017 academic year of the AUB-Jusoor English Learning Program, and led a two day training conference in Lebanon for aid workers on best educational practices in conflict zones. But none of this could have happened without you! Half of Jusoor‘s operating budget is covered by individual donations, with the majority between $20-50! Yes, as little as $20 given by hundreds of you each month is changing the lives of Syria’s children and youth. So please join us in helping Syrians across the globe rise, one Syrian at a time. Donate here.
Join us for Jusoor‘s Fifth Annual Global Conference
Jusoor named among 10 global startups rethinking global education
In mid-March, Devex hosted ten startup organizations and initiatives at the annual Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubai. Jusoor was among the organizations that pitched its vision.
Here is what Devex had to say about Jusoor!
Congratulations to Jusoor Scholar Omar Haj Ibrahim, who last week was awarded the Clinton E. Stryker Distinguished Service Award at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) in Chicago. The award, which was presented to Omar by the dean of students, the provost and the senior vice president of the university, is awarded to students who have made a distinguished contribution to campus life and who have provided outstanding service to the university. Omar will graduate magna cum laude from IIT on May 13th with a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering.
Congratulations to Marwa Jumma, one of Jusoor’s 100 Syrian Women Scholars, who has been awarded a full scholarship to pursue her Doctor of Jurisprudence degree (JD) at Chicago-Kent College of Law over the next three year. This month, Marwa also graduates from the same college with an LLM in U.S., International and Transnational Law.
Jusoor’s Third Annual Entrepreneurship Competition
Jusoor’s annual Entrepreneurship Bootcamp awards three Syrian startups for their innovative work in the fields of Technology and Education. This year, the Third Annual Entrepreneurship Competition took place from April 3rd-10th at Beirut Digital District. Thirteen teams from both inside Syria and across the Middle East traveled to Beirut to receive intensive training and mentorship with Syrian and Lebanese thought leaders and entrepreneurs. At the end of the week, the teams pitched their ideas to a panel of judges and the top three winners received cash prizes.
First place ($10,000) was awarded to Iyad Shami, Aghyad Alkabbani and Zina Khalil of Mujeeb, a chatbot customer support application that utilizes machine learning technology to process and answer queries in Arabic. Second prize ($7,000) went to Artilla, an entertainment and educational platform that teaches fundamentals of drawing and visual arts. Artilla was founded by Yaman Sadeq, Haya Allouni and Rabea Karzozun. Third ($5,000) was awarded to Omar Alsakka and Amr Kahhaleh of LiBeiroot, an application that allows travellers to customize and book trips between cities in Syria and Lebanon and matches them with drivers for their trip.
“Our experience at the Jusoor bootcamp was great,” said Iyad Shami, of Mujeeb. “We learned many things and were introduced to mentors that helped us develop our entrepreneurial mindset. The competitive spirit of the competition helped us achieve our very best and winning the prize has given us the push to continue what we started and set Mujeeb up for success.”
Entrepreneurs at the Beirut competition received training in business development topics such as Products, Market Fit and Growth; How to Master a Pitch; Setting up a Marketing, Operations and Legal Plan; and Finances and Fundraising.
This year’s prestigious panel of judges included Maya Rahal, the Editor in Chief at Wamda; Ashaman Zein, General Manager of InfoFort Lebanon; Karim Samakie, Head of Business Development at Sajilni; Abdelsalam Haykal, CEO of Haykal Media; Adnan Tarabishy, Managing Director Y2Ad/Impact BBDO; and Dania Ismail, Director of Jusoor’s Entrepreneurship Program and Co-Founder of Jusoor.
The Competition and Bootcamp were made possible through the invaluable support of Wamda, Middle East Venture Partners, Beirut Digital District, Haykal Media, Techstars, ArabNet, and Techfugees.
AUB-Jusoor English Language Program Finishes Off Another Successful Year!
On April 28th, around 155 students, ranging in age from 8 to 60, received certificates of completion for the 2016-2017 academic year of the AUB-Jusoor English Language Program in a ceremony held on the campus of the American University of Beirut (AUB). The program, a partnership with the AUB’s Civic Engagement & Community Service Center, was started in YEAR and offers free English language classes at six different levels of instruction, as well as classes in TOEFL and IELTS, to students, teachers and parents. This year, students traveled from all over Lebanon to take part in the program, which ran for two semesters, with each semester lasting 10 weeks. Each level of instruction was divided into two or three classes, with 20 students per class.
“It doesn’t just provide English classes to the Syrian community in general, it also provides educational support to Jusoor teachers or Jusoor parents, as well as teachers and parents from other informal schools,” says Tory Brykalski, one of the leaders of the program. “These child care providers are taking classes with us not only because they want to improve their ability to study and work, but also because they want to be able to teach children more effectively. It is an incredible opportunity to provide Syrians that don’t have access to English with the support they need to begin applying to scholarships and jobs here in Lebanon and abroad.”
Jusoor Offers Two Day Training on International Standards for Education in Conflict
One of the most devastating social consequences of war and conflict is the breakdown of the education system – halting the human development of an entire generation of youth. While many organizations try to tackle this problem, the lack of standards and accountability often leads to poor outcomes and program failures. Jusoor is part of the global movement to elevate the quality of educational programs provided to youth affected by war. As part of that commitment, Suha Tutunji , Jusoor’s Director of Refugee Education, led a two-day workshop in Beirut for the Catholic charity Caritas, on the International Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) minimum standards for education in times of emergencies. Suha trained 16 psychologists and field coordinators from all over Lebanon on such topics as how to set up child friendly classes and how to deal with psychosocial traumas of war. The workshop also included training on gender and cultural sensitivity. Caritas works extensively with refugees throughout Lebanon providing offering children much-needed transportation to school, psycho-social services, and handicapped assistance. The INEE standards, first developed in 2003 and updated in 2010, outline consensus minimum standards for safe and effective educational programs for children during humanitarian.
Meet our Hardship Fund Scholarship Recipients
In 2016, Jusoor launched the Hardship Fund, an interest-free, emergency loan program aimed at helping Syrian students who are at risk of dropping out of school due to financial stress. The program, open to students pursuing either their undergraduate or graduate degrees outside of Syria, offers students up to $5,000 in short-term interest-free loans to cover university tuition, fees or living expenses. The grant is awarded to top students as a non-interest bearing loan and, once repaid, funds are re-deployed to support other students in need.
This year, 13 awards helped students at 13 universities in 11 countries.
Below are our outstanding scholars!
The Jusoor Leadership Team
JP Chilazi, Boston
Dania Ismail, Dubai
Rami Zayat, Abu Dhabi
Leen Al Zaibak, Toronto
Iyad Duwaji, Dallas
Fadi Salem, Oxford
Aziza Osman, Dubai
Rania Succar, San Francisco
Director: Maya Alkateb-Chami, Philadelphia