STORY HIGHLIGHTS


UNHCR promotes refugee scholarship programme

CNC
Added On August 13, 2017

Education can be the last thing refugees worry about, as they flee their homeland.
 
But a programme run by the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) is helping thousands to keep learning, with scholarships in their new country. 
 
Lifestyles takes a closer look.
 
Fawaz is among 116 Syrian refugees pursuing a university degree through the UN programme in the Kurdistan region of Iraq.
 
Fawaz said every child dreams of becoming something while they are in school, but circumstances can rapidly change those plans. 
 
SOUNDBITE (Arabic) FAWAZ SALEH, Syrian refugee:
"These dreams grow day by day. So if a person reaches this stage and they lose their access to education, it truly affects them a lot. They become hopeless, with no goals in life and with nothing to hold on to. I was hopeless and had nothing to hold on to in life."
 
War in Syria interrupted Fawaz's education. 
 
Now in Erbil, he is pursuing a degree in electrical engineering. 
 
The scholarship covers his tuition fees and medical insurance, and provides him with monthly income. 
 
His mother, Zubaida, can't read or write. She said she always had a passion for education but she never had an opportunity to pursue her goals. 
 
Her son's education is very valuable to her. 
 
SOUNDBITE (Arabic) ZUBAIDA AMEEN, Fawaz's mother:
"Thank God, I am now living my dream and ambition through Fawaz."
 
Fawaz hopes to fulfil his mother's dream and his country's need. His aspirations go far beyond personal gain. 
 
SOUNDBITE (Arabic) FAWAZ SALEH, Syrian refugee:
"My dream currently is to finish my degree and be proud of myself. I want to make use of my education and go back to Syria to serve my country, serve the people in need. I have this knowledge; I have to give it in turn to other people." 
 
UNHCR's Albert Einstein German Academic Refugee Initiative Fund (DAFI) is funded by the German Government. 
 
To date, the programme has benefitted more than 8,000 refugees worldwide.