Global Platform for Syrian Students: Providing Education and Resiliency in Times of Crisis

The ongoing conflict in Syria has created one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises since World War II. In situations like these, higher education is typically deprioritized, leaving entire generations uneducated, developmentally disadvantaged, and not able to contribute to their society's recovery. If quality education is provided during times of conflict and disaster, however, it provides a sense of normalcy, resiliency, and hope for the future. This can ultimately save people from the vulnerabilities that manifest in a crisis situation.

Since its founding in 2013, the Global Platform for Syrian Students (GP4SYS) has been working to respond to the crisis in Syria and all of its impacted neighboring countries. It operates with the confidence that higher education is vital to producing the skilled workforce and leadership needed to move a country forward after disaster. GP4SYS provides scholarships for Syrian students affected by the war to attend higher education institutions in safe haven countries all over the world.

GP4SYS student George and his classmates, Bellecourt École, France, Photo: Global Platform for Syrian Students

NGOsource's Role

GP4SYS received its first equivalency determination from the Carnegie Corporation of New York in 2015. Helena Barroco, the secretary general of GP4SYS, says, "the equivalency determination was a turning point in our organization: it built bridges around the world and opened trans-Atlantic cooperation and partnerships." From supporting 45 students in one country in 2014, GP4SYS now supports 150 students in nine countries and hopes to continue along this path to support 1,000 students in 2018.

GP4SYS found that receiving an ED through NGOsource has enhanced its credibility and reinforced potential outreach. The ED helped GP4SYS to scale up its activities in a very significant way and enlarge its scope. Beyond that, it also opened up opportunities for GP4SYS to receive funding from NGOsource grantmaker members. Upon becoming a part of NGOsource's centralized ED repository, NGOs like GP4SYS find themselves with more access to flexible funding from U.S. grantmakers.

A searchable repository list available for NGOsource members, provides grantmakers with even easier access to the list of more than 1,500 NGOs in the repository. Grantmaker members can benefit from the due diligence done by others when they find that an NGO they wish to fund has already been certified by another member. When that happens, grantmaker members can receive ED certificates immediately for only $250.

Support for Refugee Organizations

GP4SYS is one of many organizations with EDs in the NGOsource repository that are working to support refugees and asylum seekers across the globe. In our dedication to supporting refugees and their desire to create a life of opportunity and freedom, NGOsource now offers a comprehensive list of all refugee-serving organizations currently in our repository. We also offer other tools and resources for funders interested in giving toward the global refugee humanitarian crisis. Please contact us to receive a tailored list of refugee-serving organizations.


Read more about NGOsource's equivalency determination process and the benefits it provides for NGOs.

Top photo: Student training on transforming conflict — August 2016, Global Platform for Syrian Students.

This post was written by Gabby Sharaga, a New Sector Alliance RISE Fellow working as the Marketing and Communications Associate on the NGOsource team.