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Support to Syrian Students

Launched in 2007, sba's Solidarity Fund has been created to contribute to poverty reduction in countries of the Middle-East and North Africa (MENA) region. Thanks to a targeted aid (financial, organisational and administrative), the objective is that beneficiaries develop an autonomous economic activity and become eventually able to improve their living conditions. When needed, the Solidarity Fund can also be used to bring local aid in case of ecological disaster or to respond to humanitarian issues.

Context


For its second and third editions (2008 & 2009) the Solidarity Fund selected the project of the Nada association.

As Syria experiences a difficult transition from a centralised system to market economy, the inflation that strikes the country has major social consequences: the gap between the poor and the rich is deepening and an important part of the population hardly manage to make ends meet. In 2005, a study of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) indicated that 11.4% of the population (that is almost 2 million people) couldn't provide for their basic food and non-food needs. More recently, a survey has been conducted in Damas by the Syrian Economic Center (SEC). 70% of 1'000 surveyed people were thinking that their financial situation had seriously worsened during the last two years.

In this context, the Damascus association Nada (“dew”) offers its support to children, orphans and youngsters among the poorest families, and give them the means to subsist, to train and develop viable economic activities.


Project profile


Objectives

The action of Nada association aims to help disadvantaged families through targeted financial aid, which should enable the beneficiaries to develop their skills and rapidly reach economic self-sufficiency (for instance: support to launch a small business; financing training workshops for orphan girls). The association also finances brilliant students whose families cannot afford the scholarship. The objective is to save these youngster from being stuck in a dead end and give them the adequate means to develop a sustainable and viable economic activity.

Project features

Through a selection process, the Nada association chooses the beneficiaries of the subventions, on the basis of defined criteria. This money will finance specific projects for a certain period of time. For example, the graduates whose college studies will be financed are selected on the basis of their academic results as well as their motivation; the duration depends on the type of studies and the student performances.

Contribution of the Solidarity Fund

sba contributed to the project in 2008 and also supported the beneficiary students during 2009. More specifically, sba financed the studies of 12 people selected by Nada association. They receive monthly a fixed amount to cover all the charges they meet during an academic year: food, books, public transports, etc., so that they can pursue their studies in better conditions.


Beneficiaries


The list of 12 selected persons who benefit from a scholarship for academic years 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 includes students in:


They are highly motivated students who already proved themselves during their schooling.

Various other families also received targeted financial aid to buy school material, cloth, and to finance short trainings or private lessons.

Perspectives


After a couple of years of education, these students will be able to integrate the professional world and, thanks to their diploma, they will then earn a higher salary; consequently, they will be able to help their families in a more significant and sustainable way. Financing their studies is thus a long-range investment.



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