| Jul 19, 2016
Creating opportunities around the world
Pre-school activities for Syrian children
"When refugees escape barrel bombs and torture... we cannot simply look the other way." - President Barack Obama, 2016
The Syrian crisis has been heard and felt across the Middle East and Europe. As of writing, there are more than 4.5 million refugees from Syria. For the last three years, RIJ has been providing support in the Middle East, where the majority of Syrian refugees are based.
RIJ’s project to support a preschool in Lebanon for 110 Syrian children taught by Syrian teachers – themselves refugees – will be invaluable in empowering them to take definite steps toward rebuilding their own lives. Thanks to your donations, this project has met its funding target, ensuring 110 young children and families will achieve a sense of normalcy and dignity they have long been in need of. We thank you wholeheartedly for your generous support.
We are also funding projects in Turkey, temporarily home to over half of the entire Syrian refugee population. As in most refugee situations they face cultural tensions with its host country. The SMART art project connects Syrian and Turkish youths to enhance life skills through art; creating painted murals within the community under the guidance of Syrian and Turkish artists for the public. With RIJ's funding - this project will increase cross-cultural understanding between Syrian refugees and Turkish participants.
While there is currently a lot of focus on the Middle East regarding refugees, there are many more people displaced by conflict around the world. Sub Saharan Africa alone accounts for over 25% of all refugees globally according to the UNHCR – more than any other region in the world. While many Syrian refugees have been displaced for nearly five years, some people in refugee camps like Dadaab in Kenya – the largest in the world – have spent their entire youth stateless.
RIJ supports refugees in Africa through projects like the Engagement and Empowerment Project in Nairobi, Kenya. This project provides refugees with education, language training, legal awareness, and skills to set up micro-enterprises to support themselves. Thanks to this project, Sumayaah - a refugee from Somalia - now has a catering business selling various foods including injera and other Somali recipes. She lives in a small rented room with her three children, and no longer needs to depend on friends for her survival.
With your donation, RIJ can continue raising global funds for local projects. Through RIJ, you can support sustainable projects that utilise local expertise and knowledge; empowering refugees and displaced people like Sumayaah to regain control of their lives and contribute to their communities.
Setting up business in Nairobi