During the harsh circumstances of war and violence there is a loss of a sense of direction in which one can take their lives. Unfortunately for the majority this sense of future and direction often falls out of their hands as their world crumbles around them and the unknown looms ahead creating a great need for support and empowerment. This is the case of the youth of Syrian refugees, many of whom before the conflict were headed or almost accomplished in their pursuit of higher education and stability who due to their dire circumstances feel they will never find that spark again. Thankfully for them there are scholarship programmes that see this vacuum and allow a rebirth of an educated generation, a major one being the Dynamic Futures programme which is in the processes of awarding many of the Syrian youth scholarships for a higher education.
The Global Dynamics Future Programme is a scholarship and leadership programme in which in depth research and vetting is done on a multi country scale to choose and award the best and brightest of the Syrian refugee youth with a chance of a higher education. The format in which this scholarship programme runs is not a mere means to an end but a means to a brighter future for the youth it represents during their refugee status abroad and when they will return home.
“I am so happy you can’t imagine, I have waited for about two weeks for acceptance and this morning I got accepted, it was a fantastic experience, I hope I can achieve what I have lost from the years of war” states an excited Louay Helal a 21-year-old Syrian refugee from Dara now a refugee in Lebanon upon receiving news of his acceptance of his scholarship. Now armed with his scholarship Louay is looking forward to get his degree in business accounting. It is this hope that the scholarship programme hopes to rekindle in Syria’s lost generation of refugees.
For the vast majority of Syrian refugees, they had to leave everything behind to escape the conflict blighting their homeland including the greatest promise for a future, a degree and have found themselves stuck in limbo in-between survival and reclaiming a lost future in a foreign land in which the pursuit of is severely hampered by the limitations that comes with being a refugee. The greatest of limitations are being financial strain in which the scholarship covers.
“It’s allot easier now with this scholarship, now I don’t have to worry about money, I can start allowing myself to grow, it’s going to make my life grow faster than before” remarks 21-year-old Ali Hallak a recent Dynamic Future scholarship receiver from Idlib now a refugee in Beirut. “Before I could only attend university semester by semester at a time depending on the money my family had. That is the greatest thing that made me happy and makes me and my family happy and more secure. I am looking forward to getting a degree in electrical engineering.”
The empowerment of an education is a crucial cog in the development of the Syrian youth in which a sense of stability allows them to invest life with the constant security while they are themselves in an insecure state. A large segment of this population that are in dire need of such programmes are the female population who without a degree can find themselves disenfranchised and on unstable ground during their refuge abroad or at home “it is easier for men to open up shops and businesses, women needs to have a higher education and certification in order to go about it for their future. This helps women in being able to take care of themselves no matter what happens whether they are single or lose a husband” explains 19-year-old Dynamic Future scholar Hiba Alsharaar, a refugee from Homs now in Lebanon. “With this academic knowledge in rebuilding Syria and society I really think that empowering women academically in life is important. Educated women are the future as they will be mothers raising their kids with the same knowledge as them, it will be much different generation”. Hiba is now happily ready to start a degree in electronic engineering, a feat she almost thought she could never accomplish. “My ambitions grew; I feel more confident walking towards my future with this scholarship. I was worried about my future as I could not afford university and to choose what I really wanted, I might have had to go to vocational training, but with this scholarship I have been able to continue with my life the way I wanted”.
It is the enabling of the most vulnerable with a means to excel and grow despite their circumstances that the Dynamic Future scholarship seeks. It is a sad case of affairs in which one loses everything but yet has the will and want to overcome such a high hurdle and finds themselves lost. Thus it is essential to provide opportunities to allow society to bloom under the harshest of circumstances.