Said Foundation

About the partnership

Since: 2011

Locations: Jordan and Lebanon

The Said Foundation has supported over 300 Syrian refugees with university scholarships through its support to the DAFI programme in Jordan and Lebanon. The Said Foundation helped launch the DAFI programme in Lebanon and is currently the largest private donor to the DAFI programme. 

Higher education plays an important role in protecting young refugees. It helps to nurture future generations of highly educated individuals who are not only able to work in the public and private sectors, but who also engage in their communities to make a difference. With knowledge and skills obtained from an accredited higher education institution and often the acquisition of a new language, highly educated young refugees stand a greater chance of becoming self-reliant and positive change-makers in their communities.

With only 1% of refugees having access to tertiary education, improving access to accredited quality higher education is a priority for UNHCR. The DAFI programme was launched in 1992 by UNHCR and the German Government and has supported over 14,000 refugees to date in 50 countries. 

The partnership between the Said Foundation and UNHCR has resulted in an increased capacity to respond to needs and raising awareness of the unmet needs for tertiary education that Syrian refugees face. The generous support of the Said Foundation in 2014 has helped to expand the DAFI scholarship programme, offering scholarships to Syrian refugees in Lebanon for the first time and increasing the number of scholarships in Jordan. 

In 2015, the Said Foundation continued to support UNHCR in responding to the tertiary education needs of Syrian refugees by agreeing to fund a second cohort of Syrian students in Jordan and Lebanon. In 2016 and 2017, a third and fourth cohort of students were supported, jointly with the Asfari Foundation and the Hands Up Foundation. The Said Foundation supported a fifth cohort in 2018. 

The partnership between UNHCR and the Said Foundation works towards realizing the vision of the DAFI programme: Young refugee women and men who possess a secondary education diploma are able to pursue higher education in their host country. With the qualifications they acquire, they can build a more secure future for themselves and their families and make informed life choices.

Impact at a glance

  • As the largest private donor to the DAFI programme, the Said Foundation has enabled over 300 Syrian refugees to complete their university education
  • A university scholarship is a life-changing opportunity not just to the students but to their families as well, giving them the skills and tools to help rebuild their country when they return to Syria

Contact us

If you are interested in exploring a partnership with UNHCR, please contact us at [email protected].