Dr. Curt Rhodes
March 13, 2022

Since February 24th, Ukrainians have faced the ravages of war—and the world has felt a tectonic shift. Now, over two million refugees from Ukraine have fled, seeking refuge in Europe.

There are headlines to read, sound bites to listen to, horrific videos to watch, all documenting the terrible upheaval. But what is all too familiar to us at Questscope is the human-sized, personal side of this crisis. It’s one that has echoes for us—personally and organizationally—from the past 40 years. And it is this human-sized crisis that we, as cultivators of the mind and spirit, will continue to advocate for and respond to.

In 2005, we mobilized our resources for Iraqi refugees in Jordan. In 2012, we responded to displaced Syrians in Syria, Jordan, and Germany. These events left deep and enduring impacts on us all. We have borne witness to the human side of war, those “small,” everyday calamities that don’t make the headlines.

We listen deeply: to the husband’s regrets that he wasn’t there when his family’s house was bombed. To the child’s description of their neighborhood on fire. To the feelings of loss and despair that come with having everything you’ve known torn away in an instant, facing an unknown future. War gets very personal. Very fast. Each individual, each family is confronted with what war does. 

Right now, Questscope and its partners are going human-centered. We’re going close to people. Because that’s what we do.

Teammates from our partner Alight are currently on the ground at the Ukraine-Polish border, listening to those seeking refuge. The team is also connecting with local organizations to understand what resources they require, to help build on local capacities and abilities.

These very close-to-the-ground answers will guide us in the coming weeks and months so that Questscope can respond wisely and compassionately to engage with people escaping the devastation of war.

Trauma recovery is one of the three key pillars of Questscope’s programming. Ukrainian refugees are just beginning the process of addressing and processing their trauma, much like Syrian refugees when they first arrived in Za’atari Refugee Camp. We have the experience, knowledge, and tools to help support people’s well-being as they find their way through the distortions of war. To help them respond personally to their own personal devastation.

Now is the time to go small in a big way. Because in the big picture of war, each person matters. And that is not a small challenge to rise to.

In the coming days and weeks, we will develop our collaborative, human-centered response. And we will continue to stand by the people of Ukraine, as we first stood by Iraqi and Syrian refugees just a few short years ago.

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In solidarity and gratitude,

All of us at Questscope

Curt pic1
Founder & Chief Vision Officer

Dr. Curt Rhodes

Curt Rhodes has spent close to 40 years working with, and on behalf of, marginalized communities and young people across the Middle East.

As the recipient of the 2014 Dr. Jean Mayer Global Citizenship Award, Dr. Rhodes was recognized by Tufts University for his demonstrated compassion and tenacity in creating a highly effective and determined organization dedicated to the survival and nurturing of the most vulnerable and disenfranchised.

In recognition of his work with marginalized youth in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and in the region, Dr. Rhodes was awarded 2011 Social Entrepreneur of the Year for the Middle East and North Africa by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship.

Dr. Rhodes began his career in the Middle East in the early 1980s, as Assistant Dean in the School of Public Health at the American University of Beirut. During the 1982 invasion of west Beirut, he volunteered in a community-based clinic alongside students and friends, doing around-the-clock triage for wounded and ill civilians. That was when the seed idea for Questscope began to take shape. Living and working with people in great suffering compelled him to find a way that he and others in the Middle East could assist the most vulnerable: participating with the voiceless ones in invisible communities.

In 1988, Questscope was founded with the goal of putting the last, first. From the beginning, Questscope worked closely with local communities, identifying their aspirations and together addressing their greatest needs.