DURATION: 01/01/2019 - 12/31/2020
PARTNER: DAFI, Saïd Foundation, The Asfari Foundation, Hands Up Foundation
CONTACT[email protected]

Program Description

For refugees, tertiary education contributes greatly to forging durable solutions to post-conflict reconstruction, promotes social, economic and gender equity, and provides hope and empowerment to students and their families.

Ensuring the engagement and retention of DAFI students requires a platform of integrated support for their academics, professional skills building, leadership development, access to public and private social and professional activities, and strengthening linkages to their refugee and/or host communities. 

The program included robust recruitment and outreach for students in conjunction with UNHCR; engagement with universities as advocates for students, delivery of academic, psycho-social, and professional support for students through intensive monitoring, as well as expansion of the support network for refugee students and increased engagement in community-based initiatives. These activities yielded strong student learning, helped to ensure successful completion of students’ university degree, and helped build critical soft skills to strengthen their employability and better position them for key employment opportunities upon their return to their country of origin. 

The Albert Einstein German Academic Refugee Initiative (best known by its acronyms DAFI) is the Higher Education Programme of the United Nations Higher Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which enables young refugees to continue post-secondary education and motivates refugee children to stay in school and succeed academically. In Lebanon, the program was funded by the German government and private donors like the Saïd Foundation, The Asfari Foundation, and the Hands Up Foundation. During the 2017-2018 academic year DAFI Scholarships supported 350 refugee students. 

Program Goals

  • Managed post-secondary education program for Syrian refugee students and supported the development of workplace skills and networks for their future community-based initiatives.