refugee crisis

Migrants/Refugees

Laurence Desroches discusses a new digital storytelling campaign designed to bring attention to Syrian refugees.

Syrian students and academics scattered by war have had their careers and education disrupted. We spoke to the founder of the Jamiya Project, which is trying to reconnect Syrian academics to refugee students through blended online and in-person learning. Syria's Higher Education sector has been wrenched apart by the war. Once-flourishing universities have lost professors, students and facilities to violence and the exodus of 5 million people from the country.

The U.N. refugee agency on Thursday chose as a goodwill ambassador a Syrian teenage girl who helped save a boat carrying fellow refugees and later became an Olympic swimmer. Yusra Mardini joined other notables like actress Cate Blanchett and author Khaled Hosseini in the unpaid advocacy role. UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi said Mardini "represents the hopes, the fears and the incredible potential of the more than 10 million young refugees around the globe."

Uganda is paying the price of having an open refugee policy that has attracted thousands of refugees from neighbouring countries. The east African country has the biggest Refugee Settlement in the world, [...] Once a refugee arrives in Uganda and goes through the necessary documentations, he or she is allocated a piece of land where they can cultivate their own food instead of entirely depending on relief especially in the face of dwindling financial support to humanitarian agencies.

The Sharjah International Award for Refugee Advocacy and Support paves the way for a greater investment in supporting refugees in their hour of need and provides hope for a better future. The award, launched in January 2017 [...] aims to recognise and pay tribute to those who have made distinguished humanitarian efforts for refugees and displaced families in Asia, the Middle East and North Africa.

Social media experts gathered at the Bond Conference in London on Tuesday to reflect on their favorite global development-related social media campaigns in recent years and to offer lessons learned for raising the profile of an event, cause or organization. Covering a variety of the most successful campaigns to date — from a hashtag promoting pride in British aid to an effort to engage with online trolls.

Google.org President Jacquelline Fuller emphasized that organization always aims to contribute more than just cash, also offering the expertise of Google employees, or “Googlers” as they are known. As part of its contributions to the refugee crisis, for example, employees were deployed to set up WiFi in refugee camps and along the migration route. As part of the education portfolio, Googlers will also be offered the opportunity to travel to Guatemala to support Learning Equality in its digital work.

Irina Bokova, the director general of Unesco, talked about how culture was instrumental to economic growth, citing a 2015 study that said the arts generated 29.5 million jobs worldwide, more than the auto industry. “Development without culture cannot be sustainable or equitable or inclusive,” she said. Other discussions at the conference resonated more subtly with the most salient issues of the day, including panels on refugees, censorship, heritage preservation and cultural diplomacy.

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