Teaching English to Refugees in the Middle East

In a post last week, I wrote about wanting to give back to society and volunteering more often. At the time of writing that I had forgotten a volunteer opportunity, I was enrolled in. I had enrolled and accepted the position there a few months back. I was waiting for the training information. 

Paper Airplanes

Today I received the training information for a place called “Paper Airplanes”. It is a non-profit foundation that bridges the gap in language and work skills to people living in war-torn areas. They are mainly focused in the middle east areas like Syria.

They were founded in 2014 by Bailey Ulbricht. She started using skype to help a few refugees learn English. They desperately want to complete their college degrees and in order to do this, they needed to know English. Paper Airplanes has since grown into a bigger non-profit with 25 staff members and many volunteers.

They have five different programs: English, Turkish, Youth, Citizen Journalism, and Woman in Tech. 

English Program 

The English Program (the one I am volunteering for) matched tutors like me to students in need of learning English. They have semesters that you can volunteer for, each lasts about 3 months. They provide a training course for you to take before you are assigned a student. Once assigned a student you work with them for about 2 hours a week. 

Turkish Program

This program provides refugees from Syria the opportunity to learn the Turkish Language. This is much needed because many Syrian refugees go to Turkey without knowing the language. The program helps them gain access to jobs and other resources they need to live in Turkey. 

Youth Exchange

I think this program is amazing. It is a program that allows High-school aged youth in the United States tutor youth in conflict areas. This allows them to create an understanding of what is happening in other areas of the world. They get to understand different cultures and backgrounds. It truly is a great opportunity for our youth.

Woman in Tech

This program helps women understand and develop the skill of coding computers. It is such a vital skill for a woman to learn in this day in age. At the end of the course, it gives women the opportunity to work remotely using the new coding skill they learned.

Citizen Journalism

The people in the areas of conflict can greatly impact society by sharing their stories. This program offers them the tools to be able to publish their own stories. It is a great way to get the word of what’s happening in those areas. As we all know the news isn’t always the most accurate. 

They do AMAZING work

They do some amazing things giving the refugees an opportunity to succeed. I am thrilled to be apart of the English Program. I am learning a lot about the conflict in the Middle East. 

I love non-profits that provide support to others by giving them a skill. All the refugees now have a better opportunity to grow themselves. There are so many NGOs or non-profits that do more harm than good. If you want to know more about how NGOs and non-profits hinder the growth out of poverty check out the documentary: Poverty, Inc.

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