Dubai – MENA Herald: A project that helps displaced Syrian refugee children receive an education is one of four programmes to be awarded an equal share of a new US$200,000 fund.
The first ever awards under the Varkey Foundation Challenge Fund, which was announced at the Global Education and Skills Forum 2016 (GESF) today, aim to support education projects that have the potential to achieve significant lasting impact. The first awards also include grants for programmes in Ghana, China and Ukraine.
Jusoor, one of the recipients of the fund, develops educational programmes to meet the needs of Syrian children in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt, through establishing training for educators involved in emergency education and sharing expertise with teachers globally. It means that as refugees continue to move around the world, systems are put in place to enable them to receive an education.
The grants will be implemented from 1 April 2016 for a maximum of two years.
The other three programmes receiving grants are:
Teach For Ghana, which recruits Ghana’s most promising university graduates and young professionals from varied disciplines to teach in under-served rural communities through a two-year fellowship;
Bridging Education And Mobility (BEAM), which aims to launch a new teacher development network in China that will induct 1,000 teachers per month by 2017, targeting the learning outcomes of the 175 million rural Chinese children; and
Centre for Innovative Education Pro.Svit, a programme contributing to educational reform in Ukraine by helping teachers make the learning experience more effective by encouraging them to re-think their role from a deliverer of information to one that encourages creativity among their pupils.
Announcing the successful projects, Sunny Varkey, founder of the Varkey Foundation, said:
“The Challenge Fund looks to support early-stage initiatives which build the capacity of teachers and to strengthen the status of the teaching profession.
“As with the Global Teacher Prize, it is part of the Varkey Foundation’s vision of providing every child with a good teacher and a quality education.”

Maya Alkateb-Chami, Director of Jusoor, said:

“We are honoured to have been awarded a grant from the Varkey Foundation’s Challenge Fund Competition to implement a programme that will improve delivery of emergency education to Syrian refugee children in the Middle East.

“This collaboration will develop responsive and resilient educational programmes by providing much-needed teacher training, and a space for collaboration and exchange of expertise in the area of non-formal education.

“The programme builds on Jusoor’s successful educational model for Syrian refugee children in Lebanon, and includes a conference and a training programme for educators working in the region, in addition to refining a model that could be replicated and adapted to different contexts.”

Yaba Haffar, Director of Public and Private Support, Teach for Ghana, said:

“We at Teach For Ghana are incredibly honoured to be recipients of the Varkey Foundation Challenge Fund grant. In Ghana, the community into which a child is born is a large determinant of their future opportunities. Teach For Ghana is dedicated to developing leaders who will ensure that all children, regardless of circumstance, will have access to an excellent education that will enable them to determine their own pathways.

“Funding from the Varkey Foundation will allow us to empower a stellar, inaugural cohort of committed, young Ghanaian leaders to impact the lives of thousands of children in the country’s most underserved classrooms.”

Keren Ruth Wong, Co-founder & CEO, Bridging Education and Mobility (BEAM), said:

“The Varkey Foundation Challenge Fund will enable BEAM to begin scaling up at a critical juncture, equipping more than 2,000 teachers in rural China with sustainable capacity-building resources.

“As the country’s rapid development continues to stratify society, we are honored to be part of the movement to reconcile excellence and inclusivity in the classroom.”