Dynamic Futures Scholarship and Empowerment Program
Submitted by: Education Above All Foundation, Al Fakhoora
Email: Salwa Al-Mannai, Head of Policy and Research, Education Above All - [email protected]
Introduction to the project
Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Iraq
May 2016-May 2021
Al Fakhoora, a programme of Education Above All, works to promote the right to education in conflict and post-conflict states, by unlocking a new generation of marginalised youth to become educated, professionally skilled, inspirational leaders of the future, who guide their families and communities towards cohesion and prosperity.
This project works to enable 6,345 of the most marginalized (Palestinian youth and Syrian refugees and IDPs across the MENA region) to reach their maximum potential, despite their surrounding circumstances. We place beneficiaries at the heart of our programming, tailoring each intervention to address the obstacles and challenges that they face within the economic, social and cultural context in which they live.
Financial Resources: USD 41 Million were invested in refugees through comprehensive scholarships, student services, civic engagement training, and economic empowerment activities.
Main activities of the Good Practice
GCR Objective 1: Ease the pressures on host countries
The Dynamic Futures program provides access to quality and relevant Tertiary Education, supported by comprehensive student support services. As part of our holistic approach, we teach 21st century skills through our unique civic engagement model. This comprehensive, multi-stage training program empowers students to become motivated global citizens, with the ability to engage productively in the rebuilding of their societies, contributing to their own communities and giving back their host community.
We believe that higher education is a key driver of future prosperity. Investing in knowledge today enables students to sustain themselves and their families’ tomorrow, alleviating the financial burden they place on host communities and contributing to the economy.
GCR Objective 2: Enhance refugee self-reliance
The project aims to enhance refugee self-reliance through comprehensive scholarships, wrap-around student support services, and providing beneficiaries with 21st century skills to overcome the global achievement gap.
We equip refugees with transferrable skills, allowing them to maximize their full potential, to prosper now and in the future, regardless of whether they decide to stay in their host communities, relocate, or repatriate.
By providing comprehensive support to our beneficiaries throughout their journey, from education to employment, this project enables and empowers youth to be engaged, productive, inspirational global citizens who can adapt and excel in their challenging environments.
- SPARK Organization (Co-Funder and Strategic Partner)
- Qatar Fund for Development/QUEST (Co-Funder)
- Islamic Development Bank
- Qatar Red Crescent
- Palestinian Medical Relief Society
- Islamic Relief Worldwide
- Islamic Relief Palestine
- United Nations Development Program
Challenges and how they were overcome
Student Retention - While there is an expected rate of attrition for any scholarship program, this percentage grows in relation to the vulnerability of students, complexity of learning environment and the inflexibility of legal and administrative requirements. For this program some of the main causes of attrition are: failing to meet academic requirements, financial pressure, resettlement, and a change in the student’s family situation (marriage/pregnancy).
Student services are put in place to support students in their studies and with any personal difficulties they might encounter, all aiming at retaining students in the programme. These efforts have maintained the overall drop-out rate at less than 10%.
Results of the Good Practice
- 5,838 Syrian refugees and 463 Palestinian, IDP and host-community youths have been awarded scholarships (to date)
- 2,160 students to date have accessed student support services (language courses and psychosocial support).
- 1548 students to date have participated in the civic engagement program
There are plans continue to expand the reach of the Dynamic Futures model to assist additional Syrian and Palestinian refugees.