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EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian crisis

“We are studying so we can rebuild our country”

Testimonial: “We are studying so we can rebuild our country”


Hopefully, if the situation improves, we will all go back to Derik, in Syria. If I go deeper in my studies, I will find ideas to help the country.

Seiran is 20 years old and she is from Derik city in Syria. She now lives in Shaklawa, in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Before the Syrian crisis, life was beautiful in Derik, a small town offering many opportunities to its citizens, including education.

At the end of 2015, however, with the security situation continuously deteriorating, Seiran and her family moved to Iraq, where her father had already been working for a couple of years as a civil engineer. “When we first arrived, everything was different. It was a new country and a different language. It was a new dialect and we didn’t understand a word,” says Seiran. “But we got used to it with time.”

Because of continuous shelling and the increasingly worsening situation back in Derik, Seiran was forced to drop out of university, but never gave up her dream of finishing her studies. Soon after she moved to Shaklawa, some relatives told her about the Trust Fund supported SPARK scholarships for Syrian refugees: she applied and was amongst the first students to benefit from it during the first year of SPARK’s inception.

This project provides access to higher education and scholarships to Syrian refugees and internally displaced people so they can continue their academic journey and have better socio-economic perspectives. SPARK reaches out to students in Iraq, Turkey, Lebanon and Syria.

Seiran feared she would not make it. “Why would they take me amongst all of these students? I was scared,” she admits. She is now in her third year and she is very grateful she got the opportunity of continuing her studies. Seiran dreams of obtaining a Master’s Degree but is also happy to start working and gain experience she can later use to help rebuild her country once conditions will allow it.