The Amal Scholarship Fund seeks to bring amal, the Arabic word for hope, to refugee communities in Jordan by providing scholarships for Syrian refugee youth to attend Jordanian universities.
A scholarship of only $19,000 covers a four-year bachelor’s degree at a Jordanian university, including tuition, books and a living stipend.
That's less than $5,000 per year.
By leveraging partnerships with US-based academic institutions, the Fund will increase access to higher education, develop leadership and promote community engagement and mutual cultural understanding among refugee youth and American students.
Will you join us in supporting the next generation of leaders?
The Problem: With a local population of 6.5 million, Jordan is currently home to approximately 700,000 refugees from Syria, Iraq, and other nationalities (mostly Sudanese and Somali) whose lives have been interrupted by war, violence, and destruction in their home countries. Across Jordan, 29.3% of the Syrian refugee population is ages 18-35. Before war and devastation twisted their paths, these youth were defining themselves and their futures – aspiring high school graduates, university students studying for final exams, and young professionals eager to use their talents.
The Demand: Many youth have now been in Jordan for four years – enough time to complete a full undergraduate degree – without any educational opportunities. Without education, youth struggle to integrate into their host community and are at higher risk of turning to violence or extremist ideologies, or risking their lives returning to Syria or journeying to Europe. The lack of higher education creates individual desperation with ripple social effects, energy and skills unutilized in the present and lost for the future.
Who will be the doctors, teachers, engineers, and politicians rebuilding Syria and other home countries if the youth are unable to pursue higher education?
The Response: The Amal Scholarship Fund promotes youth engagement in community service by targeting its scholarships to youth committed to making a difference in their community and rebuilding their home country. The Syrian Youth Committee in Za’atari Camp is one grassroots group that has mobilized youth in the camp to utilize their skills and energy in service of others; led by and comprised of youth, this committee has also spearheaded the push for higher education opportunities. The Fund targets members of this committee, and youth leaders like them, to support and grow refugee youth community engagement.
Who are we: Co-Founders Julianne Whittaker and Maya Perlmann are graduate students at Princeton University and Boston College. We each worked with refugee youth in Jordan for three years, in Jordan's capital city, Amman, and in the Za'atari Refugee Camp. We had the privilege of meeting inspiring young people whose education had been cut short; along with them, we grew frustrated by the lack of opportunity, and sought to respond.
A scholarship of only $19,000 covers a four-year bachelor’s degree at a Jordanian university, including tuition, books and a living stipend. That's less than $5,000 per year.
For refugee youth leaders, this education is key to supporting their community in the present and rebuilding a safe and peaceful home in the future.
Will you invest in the next generation of leaders?