Since the conflict began in Syria, the country’s education system has taken a major hit: many schools and universities have either closed or been destroyed by bombardment. Informal schooling has allowed some access to learning for young children. But for older students who will be Syria’s next generation of doctors, nurses, engineers, computer programmers, and make up the country’s professional workforce, there is little access to formal education and training.
SRD believes in education as a fundamental human right. It also creates a better future and economic prosperity by training the next generation of skilled professionals, through peace-building, providing life-sustaining and income-generating opportunities for individuals and families, and also by preventing youth from becoming disenfranchised and susceptible to recruitment by extremist groups.
To address the need for more education and training in Syria and to simultaneously address the needs of women interested in developing skills to help provide for their families, SRD has also incorporated education and skills-based training opportunities for women through our Empowerment Centers for Women and Girls in Northern Syria. At the centers, women are offered courses in sewing, knitting, computers, language skills, and cosmetology in order to gain opportunities for livelihood and work toward a return to normalcy in a safe space with access to trained social workers who also offer private psychosocial support sessions.
We are also providing women in remote, hard-to-reach communities in Syria with training in midwifery to help reduce the rates of maternal and newborn morbidity and mortality and help communities better thrive.
To address the needs of young adults interested in obtaining high school diplomas and college degrees, SRD has established Global High School (GHS) and the International Rescue University (IRU).
GHS provides online internationally-accredited high school diplomas that allow graduates to apply for undergraduate study at schools worldwide. GHS has a network of faculty and staff who ensure every student is given the opportunity to academically succeed. The curriculum is heavily focused on development students’ English composition and writing skills to prepare them for studies at accredited schools worldwide.
As a number of colleges and universities began to close amid the Syrian conflict, many students had to halt their studies. IRU was developed in response to this tremendous need for higher education. The university offers degrees in business, engineering, computer science and networking, dental prosthesis, education, English, Turkish, journalism and media, and nursing.