17.06.2016 - Education Sector

Life-skills and mentoring project gives new hope to traumatised Syrian students

©UNESCO-BTEC3Student participates in an anti-harassment activity during life-skills class

A UNESCO life skills project is helping young Syrians cope with the trauma of conflict and build a future.

“In Syria I had to deal with the war and the death of my fiancé. Life-skills is helping me to cope,” said Ala, 20, from Daraa, Syria.

He is taking part in classes which form a compulsory part of the BTEC-3 component of the UNESCO Youth Skills Development and Mentoring Project funded by the EU and run at Al Quds College in Amman, Jordan.

On any one day in the college, students will be carrying out an awareness-building activity about harassment in one classroom while in another they conduct mock job interviews with their classmates giving valuable feedback.

So far the life skills classes have helped more than 400 BTEC-3 students succeed in their academic programmes and daily lives. The two-year project, which runs until December 2016, will provide opportunities for 1,300 youth to participate in education programmes ranging from three months to 1 year.

Project aimed at addressing the refugee challenge

Khaldoun, 22, from Daraa, Syria says: “I lost my leg in the war, and came to Jordan because life stopped in Syria. I couldn’t continue my studies for 3 years, and was depressed for a year. Now, I am very happy to come to learn and improve my skills. I went from depressed to very eager to come to school.”

The project is part of the larger Sustaining Quality Education and Promoting Skills Development for Young Syrian Refugees in Jordan programme. UNESCO Amman Office is implementing this 4.3 million Euro project funded by the EU to sustain quality education and promote skills development opportunities for young Syrian refugees and Jordanian youth impacted by the humanitarian crisis.

It aims to address the challenges posed by the continuing influx of Syrian refugees on the quality of education in Jordan and build upon UNESCO’s experience and commitment to strengthening national capacities of the Education system.

Marketable skills and hope for the future

A highlight of the project, the one-year internationally accredited BTEC-3 programme, offers diplomas in hospitality, art and design, the built environment and construction, surveying engineering, creative media production, graphic design and interior design.

“I am currently working in a restaurant. Now I am studying hospitality, and I am sure this certificate will help me get promoted and progress in my career,” says Naour, 23.

The BTEC-3 programme will ultimately benefit more than 400 Syrian and Jordanian youth, leaving students not only with marketable skills, but with hope for their future.

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