Refugees

Tzu Chi: Sustainability and Education

Tzu Chi Foundation Partnership

In October 2018, we partnered with Tzu Chi Foundation, a Buddhist organisation for Syrian Refugees based in Istanbul, Turkey. Over 2600 refugee students attend the school, and they are desperate for more English reading materials for their lessons, so together we are setting up a new library for the students.

We are also building a community garden on the roof of the school, giving the children the opportunity to learn how to grow food, take food home to their families, donate food to other Syrian refugee families or sell their produce. 

Karam House: Sustainability and Design

Karam House School Partnership

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This year we partnered with Karam House Foundation, a school for urbanised refugees based in Reyhanli, Turkey. We have been developing a project which involves teaching a two-week workshop with the students of Karam House to design a school made out of recycled materials to be built in Bidi Bidi refugee camp in Northern Uganda.

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Karam House offers facilities in which the students have access to skill-building workshops, utilising modern tools - 3-D printers, laser cutters, laptops, and more. Research has shown that the incidence of PTSD and other stress-related illness is much higher for people who, after experiencing traumatic events, have no tangible way of feeling valuable within their society. We live in a time where survival and grief have been all some child refugees have known. Our hope is that having the opportunity to become a contributing member of something greater will give these children the chance to cope with the stresses they have faced, and in doing so provide them with a sense of purpose, confidence, and security. 

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Integrating these Syrian students into the designing of the Bidi Bidi school will give them the chance to give back to children in similar situations by helping to create a safe place for them to learn, play, and feel safe. We hope this process helps the refugees beyond the scope of simple education, and expands into teaching them the important benefits of community, love, and creativity.