A rapid impact project to support the education of refugee 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 the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI). 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.
With funds raised through individual donations, TentEd has been on the ground three times in the KRI.
In June, 2014 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 children who couldn’t afford it
- school uniforms for 200 girls and boys
- the distribution of two hundred school stationary kits
Throughout 2014 and continuing today, thousands of religious minorities, to include Christians and Yazidis, have joined the war-fleeing Syrians seeking refuge in the KRI.
In December, 2014 TentEd funded:
- a library in Mar Elia Church in Erbil, where nearly 200 child refugees who live in the church courtyard, have a place to read and learn in a safe, constructive environment.
- one month of transportation for 260 students at Kobani Elementary School.
- one-month salary for 24 teachers who have not been paid in months.
- winter jackets for 51 children.
- a faculty computer and printer so teachers don’t have to take their administrative work home or rely on borrowed computers.
In June, 2015, TentEd funded:
- transportation and classroom supplies for children enrolled in programs supported by IVY, a Japanese NGO.
equipment for an informal summer education program with an Italian NGO near Basirma, and another with the Danish Refugee Council at Kawergosk Refugee Camp.
- two cinema trips for nearly 200 children
Having lived and worked in the region, TentEd’s founders know that the best way to address the children’s needs is through the direct input of locals who understand the situation better than any outsider. With every trip, the project develops new on-the ground alliances with organizations supporting education in emergencies.
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. In 2013, Zack created strong initial contacts when volunteering at the Syrian refugee camps in the KRI. This durable network grows with every additional on-the-ground project.
Why us? We understand that you may have some questions. Please visit our (FAQ) page for those answers or you can contact Zack Bazzi directly at zack @ epic-usa.org