June 2018

One Week. One Story.


Houseyn is 12 years old and already works on the fields every weekend in order to save money for college. He really wants to become an engineer. This is the reason why we could not interview him but his younger brother shows his picture. Houseyn painted his mother Mona and his youngest brother.

Houseyn’s other brother Yousef is 4 years old and already in school since 3 months because otherwise he always cries when his brothers leave for school in the morning. His biggest wish is a red toy car. That’s why he painted one.


June 2018

One Week. One Story.


Hiba is 5 years old and remembers nothing from her life in Syria. 

She hast 13 siblings and her youngest brother was only born recently in the camp in Lebanon. If you ask her wether her father has multiple women, she shakes her head: only one Mum. She is 40 years old and worked at a Kindergarden in Syria.

HIba herself doesn't want to have as many children later. Rather she wants to become a teacher. It's her on the picture driving a car to her best friend, who is still in Syria. Hiba wants to get her out there finally and bring her to a safe place. Unfortunately, they don't have a car...


May 2018

One Week. One Story.


This is Yassin. He is 9 years old.

At home in Syria, Yassin used to help his father and uncle take care of more than 40 sheep. As they had to flee to Lebanon, they had to leave all the sheep behind. Sometimes Yassin still dreams about his sheep and wakes up crying. 
At some point in the future Yassin wants to have his own flock of sheep, but only in a country without war because he wants to never give up on his flock ever again.


May 2018

One Week. One Story.


Hassin used to live in Aleppo and is 12 years old. 

He and his six brothers and sisters had to leave Syria 4 years ago and live in the Lebanon since then. From his past life in Syria, Hassin misses most of all his cousins, who also flew from Aleppo but are now somewhere in Syria and unreachable for him. The second thing Hassin misses most are zucchini. They were his absolute favorite food back in Syria but are too expensive and perishable in the camp. After the end of the war and his return, he wants to stuff as many zucchini in his belly as he can. 


May 2018

One Week. One Story.


Shahed is 11 years old and comes from Raqqa.

Her house was destroyed by troops of ISIS that's why she moved to her best friend Ayah and her family for a while. But the situation become worse in Raqqa and finally both families had to flee. She is very glas that her best friend is staying in the same camp with her. On weekends Ayah works on the fields because she wants to become a doctor - and that's very expensive. That's why she can't be here right now and Shahed shows both pictures. 


Shahed has painted herself with her family in her garden back home. She and Ayah have played so often in this garden and she misses it a lot. Ayah painted her favorite tree in the garden, where many birds wereliving, which they always fed in the winter time. None of both girls wants to go back to Raqqa.



April 2018

One Week. One Story.


Reem is 10 years old and she went to school back in Deir ez-Zor, where she's from. Then, for three years, not anymore. She loves school and is so happy that she has classes again. Reem wants to become a doctor, because doctors are needed everywhere in the world, so she can go as far away from Lebanon as possible. She wants to marry under no circumstances because if you marry, you have to stay, and that's something she could not bare. 

She drew herself (with blond hair, because she thinks blond people experience less horrible things), as well as the house she wants to live in. Far away.

February 2018

Interview with Madhu Vaishnav, founder of the Girls Education Program in Rajastan

In the interview with the founder of the Girls' Education Program, Madhu Waishnav, we get to know, how the initiative came about, what the main obstacles for girls and women in the Indian society are, and how the program contributes to tackle these probelms on a larger scale. 

When and why did you start the Girls Education Program?


The Girl’s Education Program began in February 2016 to address the education gap in Bhikamkor, a rural village 65km north of Jodhpur in Rajasthan, India, that left an estimated 70 percent of girls without secondary education compared to 40 percent of boys. That being said, the sustainable project to increase female attendance and keep the girls enrolled really took off at the beginning of 2017, after we trained education advocates in the village to help support the program.


Why is there a need for such a project?


IPHD is committed towards sustainable community development, with projects in Bhikamkor including the Saheli Health Clinic, which provides a safe space to discuss and diagnose female health, Saheli Women, a livelihood project that hires women to create ethical fashion, and the Girl’s Education Program. We recognize that the challenges faced within the community, including poverty and health, are interdisciplinary. We believe that women form the backbone of the community and if the women are educated and healthy, the family will be healthy, and, on a larger scale, the community as a whole will be healthy. The Girl’s Education Program is a starting point towards creating a healthier community from the bottom-up, ensuring girls have the capacity to improve their lives and the lives of their families.

How do you convince the girls and their families to send the girls to school?


One of the biggest ways we convince the girls and their families to send the girls to school is through the two local women we employ as education advocates. They are responsible for going door to door in the village to teach families about the value of educating their daughters, help the willing families navigate the complex process of school enrolment, and conduct follow-ups to monitor the girls’ progress and address any issues that may arise preventing the girls from succeeding at school. We are constantly conducting needs assessments to improve our efforts in the village, from employing more teachers to sponsoring girls, all of which help convince families the education is worth it.


What are the main hindrances for the girls to visit school?


There are a number of issues that hinder the attendance of girls at the school. Culturally, families are afraid to send their girls off because they worry for the safety of their daughters. Last semester, one of the biggest problems was a lack of official documents that the school needed to keep 19 students enrolled. IPHD, with the help of village education advocates, was able to get these documents from the government so the girls could stay in school. The most prevalent issue is a lack of money to support sending their girls to school. This includes the nominal costs of education materials, such as notebooks and uniforms, in addition to transportation for those in the farming community located on the outskirts of the village. Finally, many girls end their schooling upon reaching puberty due to menstruation (both shame and lack of resources play a part), early marriages, and the fact that the secondary school is mixed gender.


What are your plans and wishes for the future of the project?


Currently, we are in the process of updating the school, which includes painting the buildings, adding tables and chairs for the students, and building both bathrooms with sanitary products, in collaboration with another organization, and a drinking water facility. We hope to continue enrolling girls and are considering opening a girl’s only secondary school to help alleviate the concerns of family members. Finally, we want to continue the work of the education advocates in strengthening the views of girls’ education in the village through follow-ups, feedback, and more training.



January 2018


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