Where We Work
The Foundation supports young people from four countries: Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and the UK.
Lebanon is a small but energetic country that has suffered disproportionately from a long civil war, wars with Israel and the conflict in Syria. It not only hosts 400,000 Palestinian refugees, but since the Syrian 2011 has also taken in over 1.2 million Syrian refugees so that refugees now make up more than one quarter of Lebanon’s population. This situation has severely affected a country that already struggled to provide for its own disadvantaged young people. The Asfari Foundation supports Lebanese, Syrian and Palestinian communities in Lebanon.
The difficult situation of Palestinians continues to exercise many people around the world. In 1948 and in 1967, thousands of Palestinians fled from Israeli advances to neighbouring countries or camps in the West Bank and Gaza; their 10 million descendants continue to wait for resolution, many of them refugees, often living in difficult circumstances. Many of those who previously lived in Syria have recently become refugees once more. Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza continue to face many obstacles as the Israeli occupation continues in various forms. Palestinian young citizens of Israel face more obstacles to education and employment than the average Israeli citizen. We support Palestinian education and civil society organisations working with Palestinians in our target countries and support the Palestinian community in Israel through reputable partnerships focusing on education and youth leadership.
The Asfari Foundation supported various projects and scholarships for Syrians well before the uprising of 2011. Since the Syrian uprising in 2011, the violent suppression of that uprising and the devastating crisis that followed, more than 470,000 Syrians have been killed and over 11m people have been forced to flee their homes. Over 4.7m Syrians have fled to neighbouring countries which are overwhelmed; many have subsequently fled to Europe or beyond at great risk of their lives to find security, livelihoods and education. More than 13.5m people inside Syria are in desperate need of assistance and face the danger of airstrikes, sieges, extreme poverty, kidnap and imprisonment. The Foundation’s support to Syria is more needed than ever. We will continue to work with Syrians in Syria and in the neighbouring countries to help them survive and overcome their personal losses and those of their country, we will educate young people and we will help build a resilient Syrian civil society so that eventually Syrians will be able to return and rebuild the peaceful, united, tolerant and productive Syria that its citizens and the Asfari Foundation envisage.
The United Kingdom
The Foundation supports organisations working with disadvantaged young people in the UK, partners with British organisations to host scholars from its Middle Eastern target countries, partners with think tanks and research organisations, and supports British INGOs working with young Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese people in the Arab region.