Youth Ages 16-18

Change remains active for the second year and works with youth in or around the areas of Mount Lebanon, Saida and Beirut. Change is true to its motto ‘change starts with education,’ and through intensive sessions for enhancing English and Life Skills, students build a strong skillset for a better future. Change is in partnership with the Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair Refugee Education Fund.

#Respect is back this year and aims to transform marginalized youth into active agents of positive and sustainable change, embodying, promoting and leading intercultural dialogue. #Respect re-imagines displaced youth as a potential, not a burden. The image of this population portrayed in the media is synonymous with war, oppression and suffering, leaving the truth about potential, abilities and respect absent from this picture. #Respect changes the image of this youth BY this youth. #Respect is supported by the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI).

UPC, the ULYP University Prep Course, is in motion working closely with current UNRWA 11th graders who are performing well at school. They are offered SAT prep courses and receive college counseling sessions to help them get ready for university applications and acceptances. UPC is funded by various donors.

Target around 500 youth

Change Starts with Education

Our students are hard at work in the Change program developing their English skills and expanding their horizons through discussions on topics that range from modern art to life skills to respect. This summer has been lively, and we have seen great improvement and growth overall in both English performance and confidence – skills that will enable them to become positive change makers in their communities.

This summer, Change students engaged in a unit surrounding the book Who Moved My Cheese, a motivational short story about the consequences of not being able to adapt to life’s changes. Students used the book’s themes to reflect on their own life situations and how they can better adapt to changes occurring around them. As one student said during a class discussion, “Change is the only constant in life.” We are excited about how adept and eager our youth are and remain proud of their commitment to improving their own lives and thus, the lives of those around them.

Change is a component of the program ULYP is implementing in partnership with the Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair Refugee Education Fund targeting the secondary age students. Change will continue for one more year and graduate its 300 participants in August 2020.


Towards Tertiary Education and Beyond


As announced in the last newsletter, ULYP and the Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair Fund for Refugee Education (AGFE) have joined forces to provide equal access to high quality education for young refugees across Lebanon. The scale of this program, and the opportunity it affords us to transform the educational journey of our beneficiaries, makes it a very exciting new intervention. This project will directly benefit over 500 students, over four years, and has three key outcomes. The first component is the Secondary Education Program, Change, providing 300 students from Beirut, Saida and Mount Lebanon with two years of English language and life skills lessons, followed by university entrance exam preparation and application support. Despite the cold weather, all the students have engaged in the activities and taken the first step of a journey towards successful school results and better preparation for tertiary education.

The second component is funding for 210 students pursuing undergraduate degrees or higher diplomas in fields that are market driven and lead to employment.

The third component is working with students to prepare them for employability and equip them with leadership, interviewing, resume development and other related skills. This will take place in year two of the project.

We are honored to have partnered with AGFE, a foundation that shares the same goals and values as we do, and we look forward to continue working together in the coming years providing access to education to an increasing number of students.

Student Spotlight: Mohammed


In this issue, we decided to let the student tell us about their journey with ULYP, in their own words:

“I took part in Change, a two-semester program providing academic support in English, which got me ready for the official (BACCII) exams in the first semester, and prepared me for university in the second, while giving us enriching English and facilitator sessions throughout.

 The sessions aimed at official exams helped me a lot because my performance in school, which wasn’t that good, improved and I got an excellent grade in the official exams. The second semester is where I got the most out of the program. The second semester helped each student individually in their applications to different universities, which helped me apply to AUB, and supported me in completing my application for the MasterCard foundation scholarship. Thanks to the support I got in Change, my application was selected among hundreds. In addition to the BACCII English support and assistance with university applications, the program helped me gain a lot of skills such as leadership, public speaking and teambuilding as well as time management. I gained such skills through the sessions conducted by facilitators and activities embedded in the English sessions (acting, presentations, games…etc.) which took place on different campuses. In addition to the education, the skills and the experiences I gained from workshops delivered by professional speakers, I had a lot of fun. Finally, the program helped me a lot in my first semester in AUB especially for my presentations in the English course where I got excellent grades. To sum everything up, ULYP’s Change program funded by the Asfari Foundation helped me a lot in the official (BACCII) exams, at university and in my life.

 Thank you for this Change, I’m really grateful.”

Making Changes


In September, CHANGE welcomed its students to our campus for the last time! This brilliant project was a perfect example of how our work supports the ambitions of young people living in Lebanon.

Since the beginning of 2018, CHANGE has been working with 75 Syrian and Palestinian refugees, from Syria and Lebanon, in Grade 12, to unlock their potential and increase their chances of pursuing higher education. Over the course of two semesters the CHANGE students engaged in intensive English courses and soft skills training. They were also offered college guidance counseling and assistance with their university applications. We are proud of the achievements of the CHANGE students and confident that they will leverage their newly developed skills for their success in the future.
CHANGE is in partnership with The Asfari Foundation.

Student Spotlight: Aya

Student Spotlight Aya

Aya joined the Change program a shy but independent and hard-working individual with the ambition to go to university and become a successful Arabic-English translator. However, with school being over and exams still a few months away, her lack of confidence in English made this dream feel out of reach. The program’s joint focus on English language and Bacc II English preparation re-kindled her determination to chase her dream. Aya took the program as an opportunity to discuss both her academic difficulties and her reservations about her future with Change teachers. She was never afraid to ask teachers for help and to cover specific topics she was struggling with.

So strong was her ambition that she took extra Change sessions and completed over 110 hours of the program, more than any other student. Her confidence grew as did her resolve, and with the support provided by Change, she is once again motivated to pursue her dream of becoming a translator.

“I was studying all the days of the week and always tired, but the days I was going to ULYP I felt comfortable. The program gave me a new energy, and I was benefiting at the same time: studying for the Bacc II and acquiring a new language. All of this really helped me! Change is the best program I have ever seen, it gave me a lot of self-confidence and experiences with new people and new friends.”

Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education

alghurair foundation logo

We are excited to announce that ULYP has recently partnered with the Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education, for a three-year program starting September 1st. This partnership builds on our experience with the CHANGE and BRIDGE programs and makes it possible for ULYP to scale up these programs and reach out to a larger number of beneficiaries. The project has two main components. The first will support Palestinian and Syrian refugee youth with remedial English classes and prepare them for enrolment in Tertiary Education. The students will also engage in soft skills workshops, career counselling and support with applying for university. This component will be implemented in three areas around Lebanon and will build on lessons learned and best practices extracted from ULYP’s CHANGE program and our university preparatory courses.

The second component will provide scholarships and/or co-fund university education for undergraduate and postgraduate degrees and certificates in Lebanon and the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus for 210 students. The project will also track our students and support them throughout their university studies.

Overall, this project is going to reach over 500 refugee youth in Lebanon and help transform their educational and economic opportunities.

Change Starts with Education

ULYP’s newest program, CHANGE, builds on the lessons learned and best practices we have extracted from our work opening doors through education.

CHANGE works with 75 Palestinian refugees from Syria and Syrian refugees currently in grade 12, working to unlock potential and supporting them through the door to higher education successfully. Over the course of two semesters, the CHANGE students engage in intensive English courses, soft skills training, university counseling and assistance with university applications.

The program team conducted an extensive community outreach activity, interviewed over 100 potential candidates and selected the final 75 who exhibited enthusiasm for investing their time and energy to improve their situations. The participants come from 15 schools located between Beirut and Saida. The program was launched in February and very quickly a culture of cohesion and motivation was established. The students made friends, found commonalities and supported one another to reach a higher standard of English. The students show commitment to their education, to the program and to themselves, their peers and their teachers. Although the program is still new, we are already noticing the change. With every class we hear more English and witness the unlocking of more potential. The program’s slogan says it all: Change starts with education.

CHANGE is in partnership with The Asfari Foundation.