WHAT IS ABJAD INITIATIVE FOR EDUCATION?
Abjad is an education initiative based in Syria aiming to build a brighter future for the generation of Syrian youth who grew up in the midst of war and suffering.
WHAT IS ABJAD INITIATIVE FOR EDUCATION?
Our mission is to enhance the educational skills and values of Syrian youth.
Our goal is instill Syrian youth with the skills and values to be effective and influen- tial members of society, capable of building a new Syria.
Abjad is an independent, civic and non-profit learning initiative which is not affiliated with any political or religious groups.
Recognizing these challenges, we started as a group of Syrian within Syria and abroad with the objective of helping Syrian children living in harsh conditions in Syria. In the summer of 2018, we established Abjad Educational Center in Ariha, a suburb of Idlib, where we provided accelerated learning courses in the wake of the large influx of displaced Syrians to northern Syria at that time.Thegoalwastopreparestudents who had to miss school because of the conflict for the upcoming school year through three programs:
● Idrak (Comprehend), for students who dropped out from elementary school
● Athar (Impact), for building skills and human development
● Path: for teaching English to university students.
In May, 2019, we established a fourth program Iqraa’ (Read), for kids aged 7-12 years in refugee camps, to try and tackle the pervasive illiteracy problem in camps.
Our work in refugee camps prompted us to focus on early childhood education. We realized the strong foundation that was required for any child to succeed. The later children waited to receive basic knowledge foundations, the harder it was to ever catch up. After Abjad was established as an Educa- tional Center in Ariha, we expanded our operations beyond Ariha to serve more refugee camps, and Abjad Initiative for Learning was officially launched in August 2019.
In addition to our mission to contin- uously support the children of Syria, we also strive to set a successful example of service through our volunteer work. We rely on an extensive and dedicated network of volunteers to deliver many of our services, and our educational curric- ulum aims to promote a culture of good citizenship through service.
ABJAD AND LOCAL COMMUNITY
Our regional target group, namely the refugee camps in north Syria, face three main challenges:
● Political and security instability, which leads to limited sense of security among families and contin- ued displacement. Additionally, due to the war and various govern- ing structures and authorities within Syria, it is not common to find a unified accreditation system for students to transfer their credentials between different schools.
● A challenging socio-economic environment, where families face continued socioeconomic challenges, which leads some of them to place less emphasis on educa- tion as a priority, and child labor is a common reality
● Strenuous phycological state of the target group, having undergone trauma from war, insecurity, and displacement.
As a result of these challenges, in Abjad we focus on seeking recogni- tion from within the communities we serve in order to build a sense of trust, and encourage families to send their children to Abjad’s centers.
In addition to building strong communal networks, we also recognize the importance of building a brand that is recognized beyond the communities we serve, so that children who have received education from Abjad can have their credentials recognized in new communities they may relocate to. We have strong connections with different schools, and continue to build new relations and our brand more broadly, to ensure students that graduate from our program have their credentials recognized by other schools if they move to a new community.To further build trust and enhance our brand and reputability, we seek to cooperate with civil society and nonprofit organizations.
Our partners are a critical factor in our success, contributing resources and expertise to an emergency environment where displacement is on the rise. At Abjad Educational Initiative, we are continuously seeking further expertise and funding from other organizations to further enhance and expand our operations.
In August 2019 we signed a memo- randum of understanding with NuDay Syria, a US nonprofit Syrian humanitarian organization, and in March 2020 we signed another memorandum of understandingwith LIEN e.V., a nonprofit Syrian humanitarian organization based in Germany. Through exchange of expertise, media collaboration on websites and social media channels, and funding, these partnerships aim to strengthen Abjad’s ability to better serve our communities.
We were also able to establish direct cooperation with civil society organizations from the Directorate of Education and local councils in Syria. This step was important towards obtaining accreditation, which helps Abjad students continue their education in schools and various education centers.
In addition, we had several fruitful activities and joint courses with several nonprofit organizations and institutions, such as Mercy without limits, Social Development International (SDI), Insan and Shafak Organization.