The Berlin Pilot Program

Refugees from Syria are seeking haven all over the world. Germany has taken in more than 300,000. Many are teens who came on their own. They have lost nearly everything that matters to them. Still they are eager to integrate.

They need help navigating a foreign land. They need help learning the language and finding a place to belong. To assist them, Questscope is launching a new pilot program in Berlin.

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A Champion at Strike Three

A family with no education. Strike One.

A family in need of a few more dollars, just to make it. Strike Two.

Quitting school to work in an aluminum window company. Strike Three.

Or is it?

Zakaria dropped out at age 14 to get those few more dollars for his family. Working all day bending aluminum into window frames for clients’ kitchens left him no time for friends. Or for school. Shy. And quiet-spoken.

His employer, Abdullah, also had Strike Three against him. He went to work at an early age instead of going to school, and he...MORE

The Aqaba Project

You might remember Manal. We introduced you to her last summer. She survived a hellish journey from Syria and narrowly missed being sold into early marriage – and an equally bleak future.

Manal is from Aleppo, Syria. Her dad died a few years ago, and her mom became solely responsible for their family. When it became too dangerous to stay in Aleppo, they left with only the clothes on their back. Now they're living as refugees in Aqaba, Jordan.

There are no jobs...MORE

Buried Treasure

Dropping out of middle school to earn a meager handful of much-needed dollars for his family captured Hamzi in a very bad story.

A bad life-story that will cut his future down to a small size of struggle and second-rate opportunities. But it is also a story of buried treasure.

Hamzi was a good student. Math was his favorite subject – his passion. He had to put this passion on ice, maybe forever, when he dropped out to go to work in construction as a 16-year-old.

And it was hard to see his buddies going on to high school. He was left...MORE

The Big Girl Who Can't Read

Rahaf fled Aleppo with her family when missiles started crashing into their neighborhood.

They now share space with others in a communal shelter near Aleppo. Crowded, chaotic, crammed together.

She attends a temporary school there. Due to a learning disability, she is older than the grade level she is in. For other students, she is “the big girl who can’t read.”  It was very hard for 14-year old Rahaf when others made fun of her.  

Making friends was very hard, too. Teen girls, especially in the...MORE

A Teenager, a Little Baby, and a Big Second Chance

Bayan is 14 and attends alternative education classes in Madaba, Jordan. She really enjoys math and the games she plays to learn mathematical concepts. And her new friends at the alternative education center help her to learn – while they help her take care of her baby girl in the class.

Her baby girl?

Bayan dropped out of school when she was forced into an early marriage. Now she lives in a tent with her unemployed husband and works on a farm for $14 a day as an agricultural laborer.

Talk about having...MORE

Beauty in the Beastliness of War

Magic. Refugee camp. Poetry. Youth. A library.

What?! A library for refugees in a refugee camp? Poetry and writing workshops in that library? What's going on here? Backstory coming up.

Amjad's life crashed in the early days of the Syrian conflict. Violence. Hatred. Deep emotional wounds in a 20-something young man. Escape to a refugee camp. "I didn't know what a refugee was. I was a university student, not a refugee – whatever that was."

"When I came to the camp I felt that my spirit was being broken – just like so many youth around me....MORE

Manal's Story

Every week, Manal* gets together with eight other girls in a classroom. She didn't know any of them before, and now they're some of her closest friends. They are all refugees from the war-hell in Syria.

They all crossed the border into Jordan when the war broke out. One of the first things they tried was to enroll in school. But it was too late. They had been out for so many years that they couldn't catch up. Pretty bleak, after surviving hell.

Her family was so destitute that they thought they were forced to sell her to be married. At least...MORE

New Youth-Led Classes

The students who attend our alternative education centers come from backgrounds of poverty and trauma, but they do not want to be defined by what life has dealt them. They're searching for a full life, and we designed ourselves to adapt to their changing needs as they reach for their goals.

We teach core skills like reading and math, but we also focus on developing their ability to navigate the uncertain futures they all face. What we've been hearing lately is that they want more opportunities to build hands-on vocational skills, so we've spent the past few months working...MORE

Making Change in Za'atari

The Za'atari Refugee Camp is a place where people who have no choices have to live. Youth in particular have very little control over their lives. They don't know when they'll be able to return home and most decisions about how they will live in the camp are made by others.

They are people in search of a significant life and a way to contribute to the world, but there is so much they cannot change.

The Creativity Fund Committee was born out of the desire to find what they CAN change. Every month, youth bring their ideas to this...MORE

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