A rapid impact project to support the education of Syrian children
Lost beneath the dramatic headlines about Iraq are the struggles of ordinary people as they grapple with extraordinarily difficult circumstances.
With this in mind, In April, 2014, three Iraq war veterans — Zack Bazzi, Scott Quilty and Patrick Hu — launched TentEd a rapid impact project to support Syrian refugee children in Iraq. Their goal was to help improve and normalize the lives of dislocated youth by contributing to a stable, well-equipped educational environment. The idea was to build on the work of existing humanitarian efforts with tailored assessments and agile response. Within weeks, TentEd raised $17,000, mostly small donations from individuals.
Zack flew to the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) in June, 2014. Within a month, TentEd funded:
- a school library with Arabic language books
- classroom essentials for a refugee school in Domiz, the largest camp in KRI
- 3 months of bus transportation for refugee children who couldn’t afford it
- school uniforms for 200 girls and boys
- the distribution of two hundred school stationary kits
Having lived and worked in the region, TentEd’s founders knew that the best way address the children’s needs was through the direct input and feedback of locals who understand the situation better than any outsider. While Zack had created strong contacts when volunteering at the Syrian refugee camps in 2013, he quickly developed new on-the ground alliances for TentEd with other organizations working on emergency education.
Initiatives like TentEd intend to alter this equation and tip the balance in favor of positive life chances for these children.
TentEd 2.0 will take place in December 2014
TentEd co-founders and veteran U.S. soldiers Zack Bazzi, Scott Quilty and Patrick Hu understand the need for small, agile teams in tackling big problems. They put their 40 years of combined military, nonprofit and business experience to work designing, planning and implementing the initiative. Zack created strong contacts when volunteering at the Syrian refugee camps in the Kurdish region of Iraq, where he met TentEd’s contact Hassan Azadeen Ayoub, assistant principal in Gawilan Refugee Camp.
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