Mexican initiative aims to help Syrian students

By Valeria Bigurra Peñavera

The armed conflict in Syria turns 4 years old and has so far killed thousands of people. The current situation prevailing in the country has pushed many Syrians to flee, seeking refuge in other countries.

Millions of Syrians have been deprived of the opportunity to live normal lives, but many countries are finding ways to help refugees. In Mexico, civil society groups aim to do the same.

Proyecto Habesha

Through the website of the non-governmental organization Project Habesha, the civil society group Intercultural Dialogue of the Active Mexico (DIMA) calls for the student community and society in general to join the virtual campaign #ENMEXICOSISEPUEDE (roughly, “In Mexico it can be done”), which promotes solidarity with the Syrian people’s plight. At this stage, it seeks to join efforts to ensure that a group of Syrian students, who have missed school due to their home country’s internal conflict, may complete their studies in Mexico.

The project is a humanitarian initiative in which 30 young Syrian refugees, who are currently refugees in other countries, will get full scholarships granted by various prestigious Mexican universities.

During an interview with the Mexican newspaper Excelsior, Gabriel Dominguez, Principal of the Aguascalientes campus of the Panamerican University (UP), explained that the intention is that students arrive at their university where they will then be channeled to other institutions.

Proyecto Habesha 2

Although the process is not simple, the Syrian students are expected to arrive soon, where Mexican families have committed to providing them with a home, food and everything they need until they complete their studies.

Erika Alvarez, responsible for liaison with international organizations for the project, said during an interview with the same outlet that the students selected will go through a thorough process, as their selection will be conditional to certain requisites.

It is important to mention that, prior to starting their studies, the beneficiaries will receive a special course at the UP which is to last a year. They will be taught Spanish and about Mexican culture, and everything they may need to become familiar with the universities they will be attending.

Currently, it is estimated that about 10 million people have left their homes in Syria to seek refuge someplace else. Of those 10 million, at least half are young people or children.

After completing their studies it is hoped that the students will have the necessary tools to help rebuild their country.

If you want more information on the project check out their website at http://www.proyectohabesha.org/enmexicosepuede/index.html

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