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Janae Bushman's Fundraiser:

Smartphone Schools Program

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Janae Bushman



Following 4 years of conflict, more than 2.7 million Syrian children don’t have access to any kind of education. Many of them have missed out on 2 to 3 years of school and are now verging on becoming a lost generation. With each lost year of schooling, the chance that these youth will return to formal education greatly diminishes, leaving those who will eventually be responsible for rebuilding their country with little hope for a future.


Girls Are Particularly at Risk While the rate of child and forced marriage was already significant in Syria before the war, it dramatically increased following the current crisis, excluding girls from the secondary school system and exposing them to dangerous early pregnancy or a higher risk of domestic violence. In Lebanon, 18% of Syrian girls, ages 15 to 18 are married (against 2% for boys). Many reports highlight the fact that girls are more likely to be kept at home as a consequence of security issues, especially sexual and gender-based violence, which are realities of the life in refugee camps.


Education is more than a fundamental human right. It is essential to the exercise of all other human rights. By also providing youth with the right tools to understand the world they live in and empowering them to fully and positively take part in the society, education is crucial to achieving global goals.

At Aliim, we believe that education is the key to a better world. In the specific context of the Syrian crisis, education can mitigate some of the risks that refugees face, especially girls. Safe learning environments can protect them from getting trapped in cheap labor or early marriage and empower them to stand for their rights.


Aliim’s Smartphone Schools Program is the first mobile learning program that aims to empower Syrian refugee youth living in the Levant or migrating to other regions of the world, to continue their education and access better economic opportunities through technology and a global network of mentors.

Students can access the program's learning content through an application, with on-line and off-line functionality. If successful, our program model can also be tailored to other conflict or emergency contexts. We expect to later extended mobile learning programs to the MENA region, along with Africa and Asia, where the need for education is extensive.


We are now seeking donations to launch the Smartphone Schools pilot program in Sidon and Akkar, Lebanon.

Aliim will use 100 percent of the proceeds to develop out the program, including:

1) Developing the program’s curriculum further and uploading it to the mobile learning platform;

2) Provide students with basic smartphones ($40 each) and solar panels for charging, along with wifi and data plans;

3) Staff salary on the ground in Lebanon to oversee the implementation of the program;

4) Provide TOEFL tests for each student learning English; and

5) Impact evaluations to ensure we are effectively meeting the program’s learning objectives.

We can provide all this for just under $34 a month per student ($300 per student for a full school year), with a goal of serving 250 Syrian refugee children ages 12 to 16 (mainly girls) in the pilot program.



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