Stage 4: Transition to Scale
We have launched successful youth storytelling hubs in South Africa, Jordan and Turkey, with new expansion planned this year for Lebanon and the USA. Since 2012, the program has been utilized by youth, schools, educators, social entrepreneurs, and community-building organizations in Gaziantep + Istanbul (Turkey), Zaatari Refugee Camp + Zarqa (Jordan), Johannesburg + Cape Town (South Africa), the European Union, and this year it will expand to schools and youth organizations in Lebanon and the United States. Syrian youth--working in teams, have written and produced more than 10 short films with key social messages and ideas for solutions. Our storytelling program has been featured on multiple media outlets, most recently promoting Syrian youth ideas, narratives, and messages on global networks and international channels such as Al Jazeera America, UNHCR Innovation, SocialGood, Germany UN, and ARD German TV.
Communications and Media
Communications and MediaSEE LESS
Lebanon and Turkey
Lebanon and TurkeySEE LESS
Countries Implemented In
displacement strips youth of safety and agency, which often translates to a
loss of control of how the mind and body respond to the world around them.
Refugeesâ€™ education journey is limited because traditional programs
arenâ€™t refugee-led, they lack opportunities to exercise social and
emotional development, structures of psychosocial support, and interpersonal
communications. #MeWeSyria addresses these losses by restoring agency and
community-healing through storytelling.
targets female and male refugee youth (ages 10-20) in rural and urban areas
with limited access to education or psychosocial support. To date, more than
500 youth, parents, and caretakers have completed the MWS program in eight
cities across three countries. Over the next 18 months, MWS aims to reach
2,000-3,000 additional participants (including 60% female beneficiaries).
Girls in conflict zones face specific vulnerabilities to violence and
restrictions on self-expression. MWS works to re-establish an environment
where girls are empowered by unlocking their voices, creativity, and agency
alongside trained and trauma-sensitive female â€œreplicatorsâ€.
Additionally, MWS will assess impacts on learning, wellbeing, and stress
through the use of psychometrics that have been developed with academic
partners and mental health practitioners. This measurement survey is taken
before and after implementation. Data so far shows consistent and meaningful
growth in all four of these categories.
Mission and Vision
we aim to have the MeWe platform (both online and offline) engaging
marginalized youth communities across Africa, Central, South, and North
America, and MENA regions with wholesale partners so our young changemakers
inform policy and become active participants in the "Everyone a
How can our core MWS replicators, who are refugees themselves, continue to
launch, activate, and engage young changemakers even when they resettle or
are forced to migrate?
(MWS) is an education platform that leverages storytelling, self-awareness,
and entrepreneurship to build safety and agency for refugee youth. The MWS
program, through a training of trainers system, creates a growing network of
â€œreplicatorsâ€ in partner communities trained in therapeutic and pedagogic
knowledge that syncs narrative therapy, somatic experiencing, and
communications literacy. The MWS program is then localized and delivered by
replicators to young refugees in spaces like refugee camps, community
centers, and mosques. The â€œreplicatorsâ€ are Syrian refugees
themselves--selected with our local partners-- ensuring sustainable upkeep of
the program due to their intimate relationship with MeWe methodology. Skills
learned and bonds built through MWS are then leveraged to design community
changemaking projects, restoring individuals™ sense of control and
opportunity for refugee youth. Replicators mobilize the community to
participate in the program and activate youth-led storytelling for
changemaker hubs where youth literally and figuratively author their futures,
while enhancing social and emotional learning, wellbeing, and inter-personal
MWS infuses the knowledge of neuroscience and trauma psychology into a
curriculum that links mental health support and emotional development, with
storytelling and communications skills. Second, MWS is a refugee-led program
embedded within pre-existing youth organizations, ensuring maximum outreach
for refugee youth. Third, the curriculumâ€™s pedagogic and therapeutic core
(mind-brain education, mindfulness, and storytelling) can be integrated into
existing activities taught by other youth professionals. Fourth, MWS works
alongside the Ashoka Changemaker framework, an established network of social
entrepreneurship and community activism. Lastly, embedded in MWS are tools
for evaluation where stories are seen as data points that can inform policy
and practice. Our separate psychometric tool allows practitioners to assess
behaviors and attitudes, (empathy, stress control, collaboration, leadership
capacities) pre and post intervention.