Alsama Excellence Fund

Our Aspiration

The Alsama Excellence Fund aspires to give stars a chance to shine- a chance they would not otherwise have. We identify the highest-potential students in our refugee education institutions in Lebanon and provide them with the opportunity to pursue secondary & higher education at internationally-recognised English-speaking schools, colleges, and universities.

We are unique in our ability to facilitate this opportunity, because we are able to:

  • Hand-pick the best students to sponsor- Our intensive programmes allow us to truly understand the potential of each and every individual.
  • Hold a high bar on quality of education- We work closely with a leading global consulting firm, use challenging education curriculum & assessments, and rely on volunteers who themselves come from some of the best universities & companies from around the world.
  • Place students in the right schools- With our investment in cultivating the right partnerships with experienced & committed schools we are able to find a suitable fit for our students.

 

Our Students

The students we sponsor seek not just the chance to pursue higher education, but also the chance to be Alsama Ambassadors – shaping their futures to improve lives & livelihoods in their communities. The Alsama scholarship students are held to a high bar across several dimensions:

  • Clear vision to advance their community.  
  • Leadership characteristics in line with principles of Alsama.
  • Performance in academics.

  First Cohort

For the academic year 2021-22, we sponsored our inaugural cohort of two students- both high-performing and high-potential young Syrian refugee women, Aseel and Lujain- at Brummana High School in Lebanon (top 10 in the Middle East). 

Aseel wants to become an English teacher for secondary school students. 

Before the war my country didn’t concentrate on foreign languages at schools. Yet, speaking English is one of the most powerful tools to connect and progress in the world. I want to help Syrian children to succeed in the modern, global world.

Aseel

Lujain dreams to become a gynecologist. The need for female doctors in the Syrian community inspired her for this.

Most Syrian women choose male doctors because they think men are better doctors than women. But they don’t tell the doctor anything because he is a man. I want women to trust me so that I can truly help them. Many Syrian women have a lot of gynecological problems because they marry so young and have lots of children. I want to change women’s healthcare and behaviours in our community.

Lujain

Read more about their experience of completing a term at one of the top ten schools in the Middle East here.

Being members of Shatila’s first ever all-female cricket team, Aseel and Lujain have had their own shot at promoting dialogue amongst different nationalities during cricket practice on Brummana High School.

Second Cohort

Joining team with our inaugural cohort for the second year of Excellence Fund are Hadeel and Shahed.  The girls have recently been selected by an independent selection committee and will join Aseel and Lujain at Brummana High School for the academic year 2022-2023. They are given supplementary lessons to assist them in preparing for the entrance exam at Brummana.

Their dreams are big, inspired by the situation of their community they observe around them. Shahed has plans to become a business woman as she feels that refugees are people who have survived and can thrive if given the right opportunities.

I decided to become a business woman, because I noticed from my experience that you can help a refugee with simple things. My future goal is to have small businesses to help refugees get jobs. It is my duty to help refugees because I am one of them. 

Shahed

Hadeel on the other hand feels that good teeth are crucial for a good life and dreams to become a dentist.

I wish to educate refugees how to look after their teeth. Because if you have good teeth, however poor you are, people trust you much more. My motto is: Good teeth will help bridge the gap between the refugee community and other inhabitants. I want to help refugees literally put their best face forward.

Hadeel

Alsama believes that both of them will be able to derive optimum benefit from the opportunities offered at BHS.

Hadeel is a highly engaged student. At such a young age, she already has a purpose/goal to be a dentist. Shahed too is a determined student and a natural leader, which are two key assets in the business world which she aspires to enter. They are team players, both in the classroom and on the cricket pitch, and are clearly committed to serving their community.

Director, Alsama

Our Schools

We team up with admired secondary schools in Lebanon and abroad. These institutions:

  • Share our aspirations.
  • Have experience educating a diverse student body.
  • Provide accommodations for students.
  • Contribute financially to the tuition of our students at their schools.

Currently we partner with Brummana High School (Lebanon). A school with the motto “I serve” and Quaker values (including justice, respect, and sustainability), BHS offers a comprehensive preparation for the adult world through close links with the UK for its students from 50 nationalities. 

Our Committee

The Alsama Excellence Fund Committee is responsible for the selection of our student cohort. The Committee members represent leaders who

  • Are passionate about our aspirations
  • Bring a diverse range of expertise and networks
  • Have helped stand up the Fund for its first year

We aim to evolve this Committee to include representatives from the fields of academics, entrepreneurship, corporate enterprise, and refugee empowerment. Our incumbent panel of members include-

  • Lies Lauwers, Consultant, UNESCO
  • Mark Jeynes, Director, Inspiring Futures Education
  • Marianne Moukhtara, Associate Director, McKinsey & Comapany
  • Nele Dewispelaere, Philanthropist, Belgian Diplomatic Mission Lebanon
  • Youmna Makhlouf, Lawyer and researcher, Hatem Law Firm

Our Vision 

We are currently building our network of partner schools & universities, so that we can support advanced education for these exceptional students in the coming years.  We aspire to double the intake of students in the Excellence programme and provide the opportunity for 4 students in total to pursue further education at premier partner schools.

Our Ask

You can help exceptionally talented Syrian refugees who live in the most populated refugee camps in the Middle East to achieve secondary & higher educationYou will support future leaders who will make real change in their communities.

  • Contribute to the Fund- Be celebrated as a Keystone Donor ($10,000 or more) or as a donor of any scale (you may choose to have your name radiated through the Fund or remain anonymous).
  • Mentor the students– Be an informal ‘wise friend on speed dial’; a formal mentor to advise our students on education, networking, and more; or a formal guardian to help them settle into their new lives.
  • Join our Committee- Help us to evolve the Fund and to select future candidates to sponsor.

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