The DAAD, Campus France and Nuffic have launched a follow up initiative to the successful HOPES project (Higher and Further Education Opportunities and Perspectives for Syrians). The new HOPES-LEB initiative sponsored by the European Union with 8.4 million EUR aims at enabling vulnerable members of the host community and Syrian refugees in Lebanon to pursue higher education and acquire additional skills.

Lebanon is with approximately one million registered individuals the country in the world with the highest per capita ratio of refugees. In order to improve the educational opportunities of young Lebanese and refugees from Syria, the DAAD together with Campus France and Nuffic continues the HOPES programme, under implementation since 2016. To this end, through the EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis, the EU Madad Fund 8.4 million EUR have been allocated to the DAAD and its partners.

Until 2023 the follow up initiative HOPES-LEB will provide young Lebanese and refugees from Syria with opportunities to acquire higher education and further qualification, thus increasing their chances for a better future. HOPES-LEB is a continuation of the HOPES project under implementation since April 2016 in 5 countries of the region which will end soon.

The first project allocated 620 full scholarships to refugees from Syria and members of the host communities, supported 32 small projects by local institutions, facilitated more than 8000 English courses and arranged numerous events.

HOPES-LEB

HOPES-LEB follows a comprehensive approach which covers the entire educational pathway for higher education, from preparation for university studies to the access to the labour market.

One of the main activities is the provision of scholarships for vulnerable young Lebanese and refugees from Syria, managed by DAAD. The intended 1,000 scholarships comprise a broad spectrum of offers ranging from preparation courses for high school students to regular university studies (bachelor and master) and further qualification courses for graduates.

The second component, implemented by Nuffic, offers support for the implementation of small projects by local institutions, aiming among others at improving the students’ chances on the labour market after graduation.

Campus France is in charge of communication and networking and will facilitate the project’s coordination with beneficiaries, partners and central stakeholders, including  the creation of synergies with other initiatives sponsored by the Madad Fund in Iraq and Jordan.

Coronavirus in Lebanon

The expiring HOPES project as the whole higher education system in Lebanon has been severely affected by the COVID-19 outbreak and also the follow up initiative will have to struggle with the effects of the pandemic.

But it is an encouraging sign that many scholarship holders and alumni are actively engaged in providing support to those being in need. Together with a couple of fellow campaigners Ibrahim who obtained last year his MA in history has initiated the formation of a guarding and sterilization unit in the village his living in. The volunteers - Lebanese and Syrians alike - raise funds for the support of the poorest, sterilize streets and public places, raise awareness among the population and take preventive medical measures.

So far very successful as the village and the surrounding region have been spared by the pandemic until now. Ibrahim is convinced, "we - Syrians and Lebanese - will win against this virus united."

HOPES-LEB is part of a comprehensive set of measures initiated and financed by the EU.

The EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian crisis, the EU Madad Fund, was established in 2014 in order to allow for a coordinated response to the Syrian crisis and to provide Syrian refugees and host communities in the countries neighbouring Syria with the needed support. Up to now, the Madad Fund has mobilised more than 2 billion EUR for projects in the spheres of education, livelihood, health, protection and water management.