Just like the title of this article, ULYP’s LIFE program spread the joy of learning which was made possible by Taawon/Lebanon. LIFE targets 7th and 8th grade students who are at-risk of dropping out of their UNRWA school, Haifa. LIFE works closely with the school to support the children’s education and offer intensive English and life skills both at the school and on the ULYP campus. Through the focus on life skills, students improved their behavior and attitude towards learning, increasing their confidence as well as their likelihood for staying in school. Parent meetings reinforced these gains as parents were engaged as partners in the educational journey of their children. The program concluded in June with a field trip to Arnaoun Village in North Lebanon where the children engaged in outdoor activities, confidence & team-building, and recreational activities while exploring a new place.
Life Success Story: Malak
When Malak began the LIFE program, she was shy and struggled to pronounce words correctly and properly, relying on others to communicate for her. She had a hard time focusing and listening in class, often getting distracted by friends and classmates speaking to her in Arabic or bursting into nervous fits of laughter when asked to answer a question.
As LIFE progressed, Malak began to demonstrate improved selfesteem and confidence in the classroom. Games building on teamwork in both English class and expert sessions allowed Malak to share her individual talents and contribute to her group, boosting her confidence while allowing her to feel supported by her peers. During a discussion on how to behave in the classroom, Malak expressed her new understanding of the importance of listening and respect in the classroom. After this discussion, Malak began to embody some of the qualities essential to being a focused and successful student. Through learning to listen, focus and ask for help when needed, Malak was able to use her energy in order to better structure her learning and build foundations for future success.
Badrieh Darwish, age 24, started the FLY program in June. Since graduating with flying colors from the English and business preparation classes of FLY, Badrieh has gone from strength to strength.
Badrieh, a Physical Therapy graduate from the Beirut Arab University, secured an impressive internship within her field of study at Medical Aids & Rehabilitation Supplies (M.A.R.S.) – Saida. Three months down the line, Badrieh has excelled in her internship. “My experience has been very rewarding and I have gained valuable insight in my career as a physical therapist… my internship with M.A.R.S. has allowed me to work in a professional way with a professional team.” ULYP is so proud of Badrieh and can’t wait to see what the future holds for her.
Our Bridge graduates continue to amaze us with their talent, drive and passion. After graduating from Lebanese American University (LAU) in 2016 with a BA in Communication Arts, Awad, recipient of a scholarship from the Bridge Program, directed and produced “Ayoube”, a play that was shown at Metro Al Madina in Hamra, Beirut over the summer.
The play highlights the struggles of Palestinian women in refugee camps in Lebanon, inspired by the stories Awad was told by his grandmother, Ayoube. The play tells the story of her struggle to survive and raise her children without compromising their education and well-being.
The play was well received and was such a success that the team was requested to perform twelve more shows in Metro Al Madina and one in Saida. There is no doubt that Awad’s creativity and vision will fuel many more minds and hearts! We can’t wait to see what Awad’s future holds.
Israa Nemer, age 12, started the SHARE program in the summer 2017 module. At the beginning of the program, Israa was a shy and restrained student. Her low level in English compared to her peers stopped her from actively participating in the class. A combination of the teaching team customizing their educational support for Israa, extracurricular sessions, and Israa’s hard work and determination helped her to reach a new level of confidence and break out of her shell. Israa was continuously encouraged by her teacher, and at the end of the module, she received a “Highest Improvement” certificate for her significant progress.
Only a few weeks into the RAINBOW Beirut program, Hanan’s mother explained to the teachers how happy Hanan and her brother were now that they are enrolled in RAINBOW. “They used to spend their mornings at home with nothing to do until school starts at 14:00. Now, they wake up excited every morning and on weekends can hardly wait for their next session of RAINBOW.” Six weeks into the program her mother came by again to share the news that Hanan’s grades in English have been rising with every test and quiz she takes; so much so, in fact, that her English teacher at school asked her, “Hanan, who is teaching you English, why is your level improving so drastically?” Hanan’s mother expressed how thankful she is that her children now have the opportunity to learn and catch up with their education, making up for time lost leaving Syria.
My name is Khaled El-Musleh, a Palestinian citizen living in Lebanon. I completed my secondary education in Lebanon, and my university education in Mechanical Engineering in Northern Cyprus at Near East University (NEU). I am now attending the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Sweden, where I am pursuing my master’s degree in Engineering Design.
I have always striven for academic excellence and achieved outstanding results in both my higher secondary and secondary exams. I was granted a ULYP scholarship after receiving good results in the Lebanese Baccalaureate 2 official examinations, which made it possible for me to attend NEU. There, I studied 4 years of mechanical engineering and was ranked first in my department and second in my graduate class of 2014 with a CGPA of 3.6/4.0. To my great joy, I was even selected to give the graduation speech in front of hundreds of students.
After my success at NEU, I was granted merit scholarships to pursue my master’s degree from schools all around the world. Although choosing between them was hard, I decided to attend KTH as it is one of the best in leading innovation in the world. Sweden is everything I expected it to be and I have never regretted my decision.
Recently, I was selected by my professor to compete in Shell Eco Marathon Europe under ECO CARS TEAM at KTH. This event brings together student teams from around the world to design, build and test energy-efficient vehicles. Our mission as students was to develop a car that runs on a hydrogen fuel cell for the international competition. After 5 months of hard work, we created a running car! While we didn’t reach our initial goal due to some technical problems, my teammates and I were still extremely proud that we had made it into the race and finished 4 laps. At the same time, I got an opportunity to anchor a very big project with SKF China, a global technology provider, and collaborate with Jiao Tong University in China. The project was designing a new mechanical brake system for a linear actuator. While working on both projects simultaneously was a challenge, I greatly enjoyed it and working with so many people from different countries was undoubtedly an amazing experience.
I hope that all this knowledge that I am accumulating here in Sweden will give me the chance to help the industrial development of a machine industry in my country, build a successful career and be able to facilitate people’s lives with new technology. I am thankful to ULYP for giving me this opportunity and I hope to one day be able to repay their kindness by helping other people in my situation.
Ahmad Theibich was one of ULYP’s first ever students. He wanted to study nursing but did not have the means to pay the high fees. ULYP matched him with a full scholarship generously given by Rima Hourani to study at LAU.
My name is Ahmad Theibich and I am 21 years old. First of all I want to thank ULYP and Madame Melek for everything they did for me, studying at LAU was one of the greatest things that happened to me.
I was introduced to ULYP in 2010 and with their help, I had the chance to study nursing at the Lebanese American University. Unfortunately, I could not be a part of any volunteer activities or help out at ULYP because I had to study very hard and do clinical rotations in several hospitals. After graduating I got a job and right now I am working at the University Medical Center-Rizk Hospital as a Registered Nurse, everything is going really well. For my future, I want to travel to the United states in order to apply for a Master’s in Nursing.