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2021 Fellows

Blossom Hill is thrilled to announce our 2021 Class of Fellows! This year, four new Fellows are joining our Fellowship program with innovative initiatives to make breakthroughs for refugee children affected by conflict and war. These initiatives will put refugee children and youth on the path to success and a better future.

BH Fellow 2021
Melissa Diamond (Jordan)

When Melissa met a Palestinian mother who hid her daughter with autism in her home due to the stigma and lack of resources in her community, she knew she had to find a way to help. That's when she launched A Global Voice for Autism to ensure that children with autism and developmental would no longer be excluded from education - a situation that is especially widespread in under-resourced conflict-affected communities. Melissa will now be focusing on equipping teachers, parents and caregivers with the targeted tools to successfully teach children with these difficulties in the Middle East.

BH Fellow 2021
Rahmatullah Hamraz (Afghanistan)

When Rahmatullah married an illiterate girl from a conservative family living in a marginalized and impoverished community in Afghanistan, he came face to face with the utter lack of opportunities she had growing up amid catastrophic conflict in the country. He encouraged her to learn to read and write and become financially independent by mastering the art of tailoring. Through his work with the Afghanistan Peace and Reintegration Program (APRP) in the country’s remote and underdeveloped communities, he realized many internally displaced women are faced with the same circumstances as his wife. Deeply moved by this situation, he organized an international team and established the National Center for Peace and Democracy to draw and implement solutions to some of these pressing problems while studying at the University of Chicago as an Obama Foundation Scholar. Now, as a Blossom Hill Fellow, he is enrolling conflict-affected women in a program that will enable them to become literate and earn a livelihood through tailoring.

BH Fellow 2021
Katherina Tsikalaki (Greece)
STEM UNITED PROJECT

In December 2018, Katerina's contract as a science and math teacher in Skaramagas Refugee Accommodation Site outside Athens was ending and the program would not continue. Katerina was having a hard time adjusting to the idea that she would leave her beloved students. Then she met BH Fellow Erika Gillette for dinner who showed her the science kits she was developing right on the restaurant table. Using her experience from working at the Science Museum, Katerina used Erika’s science kits to teach her final lessons and gave her students something to remember. Katerina became Erika's co-Fellow and will be focusing this year on continuing teacher training in public schools and NGOs. She will also be launching the first online global Science Festival for students who have experienced interrupted education.

BH Fellow 2021
Line Didelot (Greece)
Ankaa Project

When Sara witnessed the ``migrant crisis`` in Europe and the brunt of its impact in Greece, she left her native Luxembourg and moved to Athens. The collapse of the financial institutions in 2009 left Greece with extreme economic and social challenges including a high level of unemployment. This creates considerable obstacles for refugees who seek employment, education and further integration opportunities. Without language or transferable skills, many will continue to live in camps and temporary accommodation without education or employment, and with no clear direction for their futures. In response, Sara founded the ANKAA Project for vocational learning out of a belief in the potential of refugees and commitment to facilitate opportunities for their employment, further education, and inclusion within the community.

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