Happy Spring! 2016 is off to a great start and we are excited to share with you some updates.
Songs for Syrians
We are proud to announce an exciting new program that The Syria Fund will be bringing to our partner school in Azraq, Jordan this June. In partnership with S'Cool Sounds, a music non-profit based in New York City, The Syria Fund will host an in-depth five-day music and dance workshop for 100 Syrian children aged 8-15. Music director and concert musician Nina Stern and Montessori music educator Matilda Giampietro, PhD, will share their innovative approach to the group study of instrumental music and dance with the students and teachers at SAWA using recorders and local percussion. The workshop will culminate in a concert for the wider community featuring our students, teachers, and local musicians who will perform both traditional Syrian songs and ones we bring from the U.S. We are excited to incorporate students around the United States into this program by teaching Syrian melodies and connecting students with Syrian kids in Azraq for a cultural exchange through the language of music! Stay tuned for more information on this program as it develops!
Expanding Our Education Programs
In 2015, The Syria Fund partnered with the White Hands Association in East Badia, Jordan to create three tent classrooms for Syrian refugee children living in rural areas who had no access to education. The classes have been extremely successful and we are thrilled to work with WHA to expand the program!
A recent survey of Syrian families living within walking distance of the WHA office found over 500 children ages 6-18 who are not attending any form of school. To address this massive need and build off our previous successes with the tent classrooms in East Badia and our partner school in Azraq, we are helping our partner organization WHA open three new caravan classrooms. These new spaces will accommodate up to 90 students. TSF is purchasing one of the new classrooms, paying the salary for a full-time teacher, and providing 60 students with all of the materials they need to get learning again! The new classrooms will also benefit others in the community by offering vocational training, sewing classes, and other programs for people of all ages. Your support has made this possible!
Warm Welcome To The #CantDoNothing Community
Finally, we want to say a warm welcome to all those who donated to The Syria Fund and joined our mailing list after learning about us through #CantDoNothing, the initiative of actress Milana Vayntraub. Milana, who is a refugee herself, was moved to act after going on vacation in Greece and realizing that as a global citizen, she couldn't stand by and do nothing while refugees risked their lives crossing to Greece in search of a better lives in Europe. Her moving documentary about her time on Lesvos Island in Greece has moved tens of thousands to join the movement and get involved, because we #cantdonothing. The amazing support from the CDN community has enabled The Syria Fund to expand our education programs into 2017, continue our eyeglasses program to purchase prescription lenses for hundreds of Syrian kids, and extend our border relief program to provide food and necessary supplies to refugees trapped on the Syrian-Jordanian border.
Thank you as always for your continued support - we couldn't do it without you!
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Lexi, Demetri and The Syria Fund team