The continuing civil war in Syria is considered one of the worst humanitarian crises of our time. Estimates indicate that half the country’s pre-war population — more than 11 million people — have been killed or forced to flee their homes.
Much emphasis during this crisis has been put on essential rescue efforts in the areas of safety, food and shelter. But what about education? One day Syria will be rebuilt. Who will be able to lead the country? Today’s Syrian teenagers, who are either refugees in other countries or internally displaced within their own, are cut off from education.
One non-profit organization is tackling this problem. Blue Rose Compass (BRC) aims to give “gifted young refugees the opportunity to develop their talents and become agents of change in the world”. The NGO has created an initiative called Irada, which means “strong will” in Arabic. It identifies talented young refugees and enables them to receive a top university education to, in turn, find future opportunities to rebuild their country.
Through Irada and the Scholarships for Syria programme, grants are offered to Syrian youths. The candidates must either be living in a refugee camp or be displaced by the conflict, and they must agree to “finding ways in which they can use the opportunity of an education to contribute to peace and rebuilding in their region of origin.”
According to Blue Rose Compass, “As beacons of hope and positive role models, BRC Scholars remind us that it is possible to create your future and impact the world no matter where you are from.”
This initiative is one that shows yet again that no matter the circumstances, goodness and opportunity are possible even in dire situations. In each and every crisis, there is prospect for positive change and new prospects to spotlight.