Putting the Last, First.

Sometimes you find yourself in the right place at the right time.
 
Never would I have imagined that living through a war in Lebanon 32 years ago would fit that category.  Out of that crisis, Questscope was born. 
 
In reflecting about this past year, it is impossible not to consider where it all started: a commitment to engage disadvantaged youth living on the edge of civil conflict. They were the last, but mattered the most to me.
 
Over the years, Questscope has been deeply engaged in the lives of young people. Relationships of stability in places of...MORE

Mentor Training

As the temperature climbed near 90°F inside the training tent, new mentors tentatively introduced themselves. Amidst thick dust and lingering flies, Ashraf, a Questscope Project Manager, asked the volunteers to describe their favorite activities.
 
After some nervous laughter and a bit of coaxing, each person sitting in the room shared a small piece of themselves with the group. Bit by bit the fog of anonymity cleared. 
 
Over three days, a beautiful picture formed. The rag-tag group of mothers, university students, farmers, hairdressers, engineers, and women and...MORE

Reflections on Zaatri

By Jamie Resler
 
Approaching Zaatari camp in Jordan for the first time, I looked ahead to a sea of white. Thousands of tents and caravans now ‘home’ for more than 100,000 refugees, holding inside it stories of loss, terror, fear and strength hard to comprehend.
 
We passed through the main gate and slowly made our way through streets congested with hundreds of people and makeshift shops. Eventually, we arrived at Questscope’s site and were warmly greeted by refugees – now connected to Questscope as mentors, educators and case managers. 
 
After...MORE

Keys to Change

“We have the key,” Rabia said, “And no other organization here would do that.”
 
Trust is a scarce resource in Zaatari camp. When Questscope began its work more than eight months ago, many thought we were crazy for entrusting the keys of our classrooms to volunteers, who are all residents of the camp. We were told that our things would be stolen and that no one would agree on ownership of the key. We were breaking the mold.
 
Questscope trusts its volunteers in Zaatari because they are the experts of their world. The compound is...MORE

One2One Mentoring Kick-Off

What do you get when you combine 60 junior high students, 60 community college students, a few teachers, and a gym? A little bit of chaos, a lot to clean up, and the slow, subtle formation of friendships. 
 
Over the course of the last three weeks, One2One staff has guided students and mentors through the first part of the mentoring year: the matching process. Students and mentors participated in team challenges, toilet paper mummy contests, and rapid fire questions, all while mentors systematically rotated between students in what has been affectionately labeled as “mentor...MORE

A Life of Displacement

Ali’s mom has run out of medicine. I sat on the tile floor of their apartment as she showed me three different prescriptions. “You can read this one, I’m sure. It’s in your language.” It’s heart medication. Her older son Waleed shook his head, adding, “No one seems to have any of these here. What are we supposed to do?”
 
A month ago Ali, Waleed and their ailing mother still lived in Za’atari Camp, in a collapsing tent close to a medical supply center staffed by Saudi Arabian doctors. Over the eight months they spent in Za’atari, any stability...MORE

August Regional Update

In the past six months, Questscope has reached more than 1,000 Syrian refugees, restoring their chances for quality education and personal development, building community networks of support, and building the capacity of Syrian refugees to care for those marginalized in their own communities. The figures continue to grow.

Right now in Jordan, Questscope works with schools and community-based organizations to implement two forms of alternative education programs for refugees and youth who have dropped out of school:  Non-Formal Education (NFE) and Informal Education (...MORE

The Real Social Network: Dangers, Risks, and the Power of Relationship in Za'atari

“He was walking through the market, and another guy approached him and tried to stab him.”

The boys of Za’atari are never far from danger. By virtue of their energy, age, and current situation, they carry risk like a dangerous and unwanted burden. Small insults escalate quickly into armed assaults. Walking down the wrong street can become an accidental run-in with a rival tribe, an...MORE

Youth as Renovators - Thoughts on International Youth Day

I hate kitchen remodeling. It’s the worst.  My wife and I dove into this dangerous, dangerous world a little over a year ago when we decided to renovate the kitchen in our century old house. 
 
One of my biggest challenges in the beginning was imagining what the new kitchen could or should look like. I knew the functionality of the old was insufficient for our needs, but I couldn’t get beyond the structure and layout that I was so used to working in. 
 
To help us get outside our creative boxes and limitations, we brought in some carpenters and builders to hear...MORE

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