Firefly is happy to announce that with a pair of generous donations we have been able to invest in establishing a Syrian refugee youth education centre in Antakya, Turkey, uniquely designed by the refugees themselves. Their focus is on reintegrating children forced to work back into school through fun after-work activities.
“Prior to the conflict, primary school enrolment rate in Syria was 99 percent and lower secondary school enrolment was 82 percent, with high gender parity. Today, nearly 3 million Syrian children inside and outside the country are out of school, according to UNICEF estimates”.
This project enables children whose lives have been turned upside down and their psychological well-being impaired by their experiences of the Syrian civil war to learn how to play again, providing a stepping-stone back into education through integrated play, building self-esteem and curiosity in a safe space using Magic Maths as the activity to facilitate this. The purpose is to improve the rate of learning, social interaction and overall well-being of refugee children, predominantly victims of the Syrian civil war. This will be achieved by providing them with a variety of much needed creative educational opportunities combined together with psychological support.
The project is centered on a refugee community displaced by the devastating civil war in Syria who are now are living in Antakya, Turkey. The community has a very real and urgent need for the cognitive support this initiative will provide. The disruption and trauma these young Syrians have experienced has adversely impacted the educational opportunities available to them, and driven many to disengage from their studies as a result.
The project seeks to help these refugee children return to a more formal education and a sense of normality that has been taken from them by civil war. It seeks to help equip them better to succeed in life – whether as part of their displaced community, or (ideally) on their return someday home.
This proposal is looking to secure approval and funding for this specific project, which is part of a broader Firefly effort to provide support to young people and refugees from the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East. That support is typically centered on creative educational methods. The approach taken for all the activities within this programme is a proven one, where the creative educational elements of these projects are led by members of the same communities on the ground we are seeking to help. These local leaders are then supported by a wider team with the skills and experience gained having delivered these activities elsewhere. Further, this proposal has been developed by the Syrian refugees themselves, with support framing and funding it coming from Firefly. We want to address the needs they identify for youth education. This approach is unusual in a fluid situation like that faced by refugees, where they typically will be offered some form of assistance without participating in how it is designed.