Helping a Refugee Realize His Dream

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Specialized courses and tuition assistance help displaced and refugee students in Syria complete their education.
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Bringing Education to Children Fleeing Conflict
The Syrian crisis began over 10 years ago. Since its onset, the people of Syria and Iraqi refugees living in Syria have continued to face unrest and hardship. The ongoing conflict and displacement—many have been displaced multiple times—mean that children continue to miss the opportunity to attend school. 
That was the dilemma facing Maher (pseudonym used), a 14-year-old Iraqi boy whose family left his war-torn homeland for Syria in 2007. When the Syrian conflict broke out, Maher’s father returned to Iraq, leaving Maher, his two siblings, and their mother. Suddenly, the family’s situation became even more difficult.
“When my father left us,” Maher told IOCC, “we suffered a lot. Our financial situation is grim. I would love to complete my education and receive a university degree.” Finishing his education would open up new opportunities for Maher’s future.
Fortunately for Maher—and his siblings—IOCC provides tuition assistance to hundreds of Iraqi refugee and Syrian students enrolled in schools across Syria, with support from the US Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration. In addition, IOCC and Church partner the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East’s Department of Ecumenical Relations and Development have organized courses to prep students for certification exams. “I was so happy when they allowed me to register,” Maher said. “I was in desperate need of these classes, and my family is not able to afford such support.” He was particularly excited to take classes that helped him fill in the gaps in his science and math education.
Now in ninth grade, Maher is working hard to prepare for his ninth-grade certificate exams. His fondest wish is to complete high school and enroll in a university. With his determination, and help from IOCC and our partners, he has a chance to realize that wish.

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