Dr. Curt Rhodes of Questscope receives Dr. Jean Mayer Global Citizenship Award

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Dr. Curt Rhodes of Questscope receives Dr. Jean Mayer Global Citizenship Award 

MARCH 2, 2014, Minneapolis, MN – Dr. Curt Rhodes, founder and international director of Questscope for Social Development in the Middle East, was awarded the 2014 Dr. Jean Mayer Global Citizenship Award from the Institute for Global Leadership at Tufts University. The award was presented to Dr. Rhodes during the EPIIC (Education for Public Inquiry and...MORE

Preparing for Uncertainty

I’ve been working at Questscope for almost two years, and during that time I have been specifically dedicated to “Emergency Response,” an effort to limit the damage and suffering caused by the Syrian refugee crisis.
 
Think about that. An “emergency” that has been going on for two years, leaving people in a state of barely getting by.
 
By definition, an “emergency” is unexpected. And it is temporary. We were not meant to live in prolonged emergency. The psychological and physical toll is too great. The motion and commotion needed to treat an emergency, and the...MORE

Arriving Faster

Navigating the road in Zaatari refugee camp is not easy. Traveling on foot through the vast expanse of land filled with a haphazard collection of tents and caravans will not get you anywhere quickly. 
 
So when 17 bicycles were delivered to Questscope’s mentoring and education program site, there was a collective sigh of relief. Zaatari is now considered the fourth largest city in Jordan and the second largest refugee camp in the world. Through the Bawsal Asra’a “Arrive Faster” initiative, Syrian case managers and facilitators now have a reliable mode of transportation to move...MORE

One2One Update

For the last four months, 61 mentors and students have been busy building trust with each other and participating in One2One's social and emotional learning curriculum. Week after week, mentors have flooded North View Junior High in Brooklyn Park, MN, and transformed our classrooms into an individualized learning experience for each student. During the program mentors help students develop their ability to regulate anger, problem-solve, manage their time, and build social skills.
 
The mentoring relationships are also having a significant impact on the mentors. One of our...MORE

A Story of Hope

Tucked away in a city of tents and caravans near Jordan's northern border, a group of Syrian refugees live within a dual reality.
 
On one hand, destruction and loss. War has resulted in an abrupt transition from 'have' to 'have not.' They came to Zaatari camp leaving everything behind. A harsh reality.
 
On the other hand, stability and hope. Connected with Questscope's mentoring program, funded by the European Union and coordinated by UNESCO, they rediscovered a purpose and found a voice again. A hopeful reality.
 
In December, as the Questscope team...MORE

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

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