Alsama means “sky” in Arabic. We educate refugee children and empower refugee women. We offer them a new horizon.
It’s isolation that hurts us. When we stay separate from refugees and they stay separate from us. The Syrian refugee crisis requires both sides to look up, reach out and connect.Meike Ziervogel, CEO Alsama
Alsama sets up education centres, cricket hubs and social enterprises in areas of the Middle East affected by conflict. Our projects are run for – and, in large part, run by – refugee communities.
I used to sit at home all day, being very sad and depressed. I love studying. I want to become an international lawyer. But there is no school place for me. Now I come to the centre and I have hope again.Safa, 16
Alsama raises up the lives of children by honoring the mind, the body and the spirit.
The Mind: Each child who comes to our center learns to read & write (if they can’t yet do this). They will acquire English language proficiency, an understanding of budgeting and an education in the life-skills necessary to survive in a refugee camp. Most importantly, they will receive “awareness” mentoring on topics such as sexuality, early marriage, bullying, sexual harassment and self-esteem.
For refugee women, Alsama offers opportunities to earn a living by starting a social enterprise, joining an embroidery business, or by working as teachers or coaches.
Spirit: We give children the tools to express themselves creatively by running classes in creative writing, drawing, graffiti, film and literature. In the future we hope to add music and dance to our offering.
Body: You can’t move your brain without moving your body. So, the girls are encouraged to attend Yoga classes. In addition, we now host the Shatila Cricket Club. This club gives nearly 200 children – boys and girls – six hours of cricket coaching a week a across four hubs: Shatila, Beqaa, Bourj Barajneh and Brummana.
We are raising £20,000 to support our 133 Alsama Syrian refugee families during the COVID-19 lockdown
Please click here to make a donation:
The Alsama Shatila Centre and the Shatila Cricket Club are financed through donations.
Membership to the Alsama Circle: standing order of £45 a month. This amount covers the cost of educating one girl for one month. In recognition of their support, members receive monthly updates on the progress of the girls. They will also be invited to our annual open day in Beirut where you can meet our teachers and girls, participate in classes and experience life in Shatila and Bourj Barajneh.
Membership of the Shatila Cricket Club:standing order of £40 a month. This amount allows one child in all the coaching sessions and matches. Members receive a picture book of the children, an invitation to play cricket with the children in Shatila and a dinner in London at Lords Cricket Ground.