We fund programs, projects or products that aim to positively impact the lives of communities (children, youth, families, etc.) affected by conflict and war in the Middle East.
Refugee children live under unusual and difficult conditions with little or no access to technology that can improve their lives. With our innovative programs, we are reaching a wide range of children with groundbreaking technology that teach them literacy skills and improve their access to higher education.
Millions of refugee children are missing out on an education. Without an opportunity to learn, they risk becoming a lost generation with little chance for a better future. Through sustainable programs, our Fellows are working to ensure refugees can learn and develop the skills they need to succeed in life.
The development of the "whole child" from early childhood through adolescence is critical to long-term development and success of all children. Blossom Hill is committed to providing innovative initiatives for refugee children that will not only prepare them for learning and academic success, but empower them with life skills as they continue to live under difficult conditions.
For refugee youth whose education has been interrupted and ability to earn a livelihood undermined by war and conflict, the future is bleak. We are dedicated to empowering these youth to break from the cycle of poverty by offering innovative vocational training in computer skills, business entrepreneurship and language instruction.
Founder and Executive Director of The Syria Fund
Founder of Code to Inspire
Founders of Quality Education and Sustainable Development Support Organization
Founder of Syrian Youth Empowerment
Manager of El Sistema Greece
Clinical Director of Project Lift
Founder of STEM United Project
Founder of ANKAA Project
Founders of Helping Hands
Founders of Re:Coded
Blossom Hill seeks passionate, committed individuals with innovative ideas about how to improve the lives of war-affected children from the Middle East.
A Fiscal sponsor must be a U.S. registered 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization. Fiscal sponsors will be required to agree to manage and disburse funds to the Fellow according to the terms of the project.
Tricia McDonough Ryan, PhD Pediatric Neuropsychologist Cert-Global Mental Health, Refugee Trauma & Recovery
Dr. Tricia Ryan is a Pediatric Neuropsychologist, certified in Global Mental Health and Refugee Trauma & Recovery. Her article on the Social-Emotional Wellness of Refugee Children highlights just how vulnerable refugee children are to various biological changes and adjustment stressors, but how these burdens are so often under looked because of language and cultural barriers. Ultimately, Dr. Ryan writes: “Food and shelter are not enough.” With solutions like Blossom Hill’s social-emotional programs, we can recognize refugee children’s mental health barriers and prioritize the resources necessary to ensure these children have food, shelter...and better mental health outcomes for their futures.
Now more than ever is a time to raise awareness about the scope and serious impact of traumatic stress on the development of child refugees around the globe. At least 80 million children and their families were displaced from their homes last year, fleeing war, violence, and human injustices. Refugee children accumulate multiple adverse traumatic experiences that extend from those sustained in their country of origin throughout their journey to their post-migration lives. These children have experienced war-related trauma and disruption, separation and loss of loved ones, along with resettlement challenges of poverty, stigmatization, bias, rejection and disruption in identity formation. These traumatic and adverse experiences place refugee children at substantial risk for disruption to the underpinnings of healthy psychological, social, and cognitive development. Unfortunately, these difficulties are often overlooked and undetected due to language and cultural barriers.
The results of a growing body of research indicate neurobiological disruption and elevated biological stress markers (e.g. cortisol) are associated with adverse childhood events. These biological changes, coupled with daily adjustment stressors, leave refugee children vulnerable to acute and prolonged psychological distress symptoms of anxiety, PTSD, and depression, as well as neurocognitive and social difficulties. A complementary body of research indicates social-emotional and cognitive interventions can influence the trajectory of neurodevelopment and the outcome for children who have suffered from trauma and adverse events. Innovative ways to deliver evidenced-based models of psychological, executive functioning, and social skills therapies that are culturally tailored and trauma informed to refugee children are central to improving their wellbeing. It will take the collective effort of health professionals, educators, legislation, and local communities to come together to recognize the burdens of adverse and traumatic events on the neurodevelopment of refugee children and to prioritize resources to change their outcome. Food and shelter are not enough.
I invite you to look at the innovative and passionate work of the Blossom Hill Fellows that aim to proactively intervene with social-emotional programs with refugee children in war-torn regions of the world. Their programs are an inspiration. They honor the strength, courage, and perseverance of refugees while recognizing the need to heal the burdens and traumas they have experienced at young ages.READ MORE
SUCCESS STORY: In the virtual world we live in, having an advanced knowledge of computers is particularly helpful. That’s why Blossom Hill funds the Re:Coded bootcamps in Yemen and Turkey, which teach refugee youth how to code and allows them to follow their technological dreams. Today’s success story is about Mohamed, a handicapped student in Yemen who developed his coding skills with Re:Coded.
Mohamed first held a computer when he was five years old. It was an old computer with a 8GB hard disk, but to Mohamed, it was magical. He played with it, learning to assemble and disassemble the device. Eventually, his family sold the computer, but that didn’t stymie Mohamed’s love for computers. He scoured the Internet to learn more about programming, to figure out how games were created and who created them. And that’s where Re:Coded came in. Mohamed heard about Re:Coded from a friend, and his decision was one that would transform his life. Other bootcamp students have noted that what ultimately makes Re:Coded so powerful is that it is “focused more on the practical aspect of learning than on the theoretical aspect. Studying here teaches you how to teach yourself.” Mohamed learned how to teach himself, and before graduating from the bootcamp last March, created his own website, and is more prepared than ever to work in this virtual world. Congratulations, Mohamed!
Support more Blossom Hill initiatives like these to continue teaching conflict-affected youth how to teach themselves.READ MORE