Dear MECI Friends,
As the holiday season approaches, I am very thankful for the invaluable support and encouragement you have given MECI. As war and violence are increasing, an entire generation of children in the Middle East are at risk. MECI’s work through education with children and youth is becoming more critically needed.
Since 2007, MECI has been meeting the most urgent needs of children in the Middle East through our transformational child-centered community development program in the West Bank, and today our holistic educational approach is being acknowledged in the international community as an effective solution in this crisis. Recognized for our success in administering education and psychosocial programming, UNICEF and UNESCO formed partnerships with MECI to conduct informal education and psychosocial support for out-of-school Syrian refugees living in Jordan. In the West Bank, in spite of road closures and safety concerns, MECI’s local staff is courageously maintaining a sense of normalcy though MECI’s child-centered community development programs.
MECI’s Accomplishments in 2015:
Expanded from 3 to 16 schools serving informal education and remedial support to over 3,150 Syrian refugee and disadvantaged Jordanian children
Conducted workshops for parents of Syrian refugee children to integrate families into local communities
Provided Palestinian children in three schools with academic support, access to art, music and sports, life skills for leadership development, and community service activities in the local village
Established MECI Girls' University Scholarship Fund for first MECI class of girl graduates
Signed an MOU with local Women’s Association providing social enterprises to support education programs
Opened a MECI office in Washington, D.C.
In addition to our presence as a leader in educational programming for Syrian refugees, MECI’s most notable success story of the year featured the 41 girls who started with the original MECI program in Beit Rima and this year graduated from secondary school with distinction. 8 years ago, many of these girls were not attending school due to economic hardships and other security threats. Some were malnourished and anemic and most were suffering from symptoms of trauma. We were able to keep these girls in school and they graduated with scores 20 % higher than the national average. They are ALL attending university to study journalism, chemistry, business, law and education. MECI’s Girls' University Scholarship Fund will cover the full cost of University for 4 years for the neediest cases and these girls have committed to return to their village to help continue to work with the MECI program and serve as mentors for other children. They are confident, healthy and strong and will undoubtedly continue to be leaders in their communities and in the region.
With the support of MECI’s family and friends, we have grown from an educational organization serving 500 children to one that has supported over 5,000 children and their families. Today, in this period of increased conflict and growing extremism, it is critically important that we work together to provide at-risk children with HOPE THROUGH EDUCATION. By focusing on elements of human security: education, health and economic development, we can heal lives and transform attitudes to support a generation of youth who can build peace and be future leaders in a part of the world that is vital to global peace and global security.
Please continue to support MECI as generously as you can. Thank you so much.
Lola Nashashibi Grace