Syrian refugee children in Antakya (Hatay Province, Turkey) are in a very real and urgent need of the educational and psycho-social support that this initiative is providing. With their childhood harshly disrupted and severely traumatised by a brutal war, many refugee children have lost hopes of improving their futures through education, and disengaged from it as a result. Displaced in a foreign country and living in very precarious conditions, many have missed any form of formal education since leaving Syria and are currently working in subsistence jobs forced by necessity – i.e. helping their families to pay for food, accommodation and energy, for instance, by sorting rubbish or selling merchandise on the streets.
Entirely run by Syrian refugees, the centre provides education and psycho-social support to more than 300 children a year. The educational programme purposely combines effective learning and intellectual skills training with entertaining recreational social activities to help refugee children reintegrate into formal education.
All personnel at the Centre is recruited from and by the local refugee community. Back into work, self-sufficient financially and directly involved in improving the life prospects of their own children, these refugees have proven to be the most committed and determined personnel available.
Courses vary from English, Arabic, Maths, to Basic Engineering, Science as well as Handcrafts. All courses are delivered through small classes and personalised to the specific needs of the children participating. The programme is designed to address vulnerability and equity issues and includes special classes for children who need additional learning support. Social interaction is encouraged as a powerful remedy to help children who appear to be affected by post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD) and/or distress related to their experiences and/or present circumstances. The centre works with refugee children who come on their own will after and/or before going to work/school. The entertainment/social component of the programme is also key to generate interest and very successful in doing so as the centre has already enrolled more refugee children than initially planned.
Firefly Syria’s students have had many years of interrupted, or simply no education, due to the war. As a result it is commonplace for Syrian refugee children to be at a learning level three or four years behind their age group, and many are even illiterate. Yet, they have high potential and want the opportunity […]
Firefly Syria is a refugee led initiative which owes its success to the personal stories, struggles and resilience of the people it is made up of. The Story of Um S and her family Um S is employed at the Firefly centre in Antakya as a cleaner. Um S has five children. Three […]
Over the last four months, local refugee staff at our centre in Antakya have been looking for ways to outreach other teachers inside Syria. We are now thrilled to announce the success of their wonderful initiative. Our local refugee staff have designed a teacher online training programme and a fifty-two page curriculum manual, which include […]
Our projects coordinator – Maria Chambers – visited our centre in Antakya this October, bringing back great news! “It was just so wonderful to see the way the Applied science programme has developed. Top quality resources have been made at the centre that support the curriculum developed by our staff. They are highly portable and […]
We identified a need to focus on offering opportunities for teenage girls to get back into a learning environment. To attract teenage girls to our educational centre, we designed a programme that would give them an opportunity to engage with an entrepreneurial activity and further education at the same time. The programme focused on […]
Please click here to read the Firefly for Syria 2017 Annual Report detailing the impact of our work with Syrian refugees in Antakya, Turkey. Arabic speakers can follow the latest project news from Antakya via our centre’s Facebook page.
Maria (our project coordinator) has recently spent some days at our Education Centre for Syrian Refugees in Antakya. She shares with us her experience: “It was so encouraging to see two strands of the curriculum developing so positively during my recent visit to Antakya. The children were busy learning Science Experiments, Literacy and Numeracy Basic […]
Maria (our project coordinator) organised a second visit to the centre in September-October 2016. From an online meeting during her visit, she could not wait to share with us her positive feedback: “It is wonderful to be back here and see the progress that the children have made here during the last three months… I […]
Our Project Coordinator, Maria Chambers, visited the Antakya Centre (Turkey) in May 2016 to help our local partner going through the initial setting up phase. She came back with great news, and a very positive feeling: “On the way to work there was a little boy sitting on the pavement waiting with his book […]
An initial visit to Antakya, Turkey March 2016 Report by Maria Chambers Project Coordinator at Firefly International. Also featured Fadia Shaker, future Project Leader, and Aya Shamat, teacher and project assistant. This successful initial visit lasted for ten days. Our Project Coordinator Maria visited Antakya in order to: (1) help to find a suitable space […]
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 […]