Support Refugee Youth Empowerment in Lebanon!

For: The LEAP Program
New York, NY
Organizer: basma eid
Support Refugee Youth Empowerment in Lebanon! (The LEAP Program)
of $20,000 goal
46% Complete
Raised by 109 donors

The Story

The Scoop

Seventy years after their displacement, Palestinian refugees today number over 5 million and are spread across a number of host countries. Since 2010,  The LEAP Program, an apolitical, all-volunteer organization, has been supplementing the education of Palestinian refugee youth in Lebanon through the Project SHINE. We are calling on all allies and friends in solidarity for support by investing in the empowerment of refugee youth through education.  

The Story 

SHINE (Summer Help In English) is an intensive summer camp run by LEAP (Learning for the Empowerment and Advancement of Palestinians) in the Palestinian refugee-camps of Lebanon. In partnership with the National Institute for Social Care & Vocational Training, also known as Beit Atfal Assumoud (BAS),  LEAP recruits volunteers to teach English, as well as lead recreational activities while living and working in the refugee camps. LEAP also purchases school and art supplies and funds extracurricular activities, including field trips, for the children between grades 6 through 9. SHINE offers students a productive and safe space during their summer vacation to strengthen their English language proficiency and improve their chances at continuing their education. In Lebanon, in order for students to advance into high school, they must pass a national entrance exam given in English. Those who fail the test are denied entry into high school. Thus, their educational journey is abruptly and tragically cut. As part of SHINE, students also take weekly field trips that nurture and foster their mental, physical, and social growth at a pivotal stage in their lives. Some of these activities include yoga, photography, videography, music, theater, social media, among many others! In turn, our volunteers learn about the Palestinian refugee reality and get a glimpse of Palestinian heritage and culture. Volunteers and students share a mutual learning and sharing experience. Upon return to their home communities, volunteers are responsible for raising awareness about the plight of Palestinian refugees.  

This year we are also launching our newest project in partnership with BAS -- Project MUSIC! In keeping with LEAP’s mission of supporting the education of refugee youth and raising awareness about their plight, Project MUSIC (Music in the Camps) aims to equip refugee-youth with musical instruments and provide music education in the camps, thereby stimulating creative and therapeutic expression to further nurture their psycho-social support and improve their overall well-being.

Quick Facts 

  • LEAP has been operating its summer project SHINE since 2010. 
  • We have impacted  over 3,000 youth since our inception.  
  • Over 200 volunteers have worked with us, helping to build partnership all over the world
  • 90% of youth who participated in SHINE expressed that their English proficiency improved and they felt more confident in English. 
  • 98% of youth indicated that they intend to participate in SHINE again.

Why We Need You!

As a volunteer run, grassroots organization, LEAP relies on the generosity of our community in order to make our work possible. Year after year we are blessed by the unwavering support of our community. We are confident that together we can make Project SHINE a reality for the 9th consecutive year. 

  • $50 covers the cost one student’s participation in this summer’s SHINE project
  • $150 purchases a musical instrument for a student to participate in the music project 
  • $500 covers generator costs to operate the youth center for a month
  • $2,000 allows us to take 300 youth on a field trip outside the camp for fun!

Help us bring the same summer experience to over 400 refugee-youth in the camps of Lebanon this summer. Make SHINE 2018 a reality by generously contributing today!    

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on June 19, 2018

Posted on June 19, 2018

We are just over two weeks out from the launch of Project SHINE and Project MUSIC for the summer of 2018!!! 

We are completely overwhelmed by the generosity you have shared with us thus far on this journey. Thanks to you, we are nearly 50% of the way toward our goal. 


But we need your help. 

Each dollar you choose to spend donating to LEAP makes a fundamental difference to our programming. All aspects of our programming are not possible without grassroots donorship from folks like you. From pencils to fans to t-shirts to dry erase markers, the building blocks of educational programming are at your fingertips. No donation is too small, and each just as meaningful as the next. 

And this isn't just lip service. It can be hard to find organizations that work in direct tandem with the community. LEAP is that kind of program. Our resources are scant, but our commitment mighty. We hope that with your monetary donation, we can make those resources a little less scant for our students, and our commitment even more emboldened.

DONATE TODAY! We hope you'll also share with family and friends!

Posted on June 10, 2018

Posted on June 10, 2018

Thanks to the generosity of you all, we are 38% of the way toward our goal!

Every day in Lebanon, Palestinians face a myriad of challenges and obstacles. Palestinians are barred from entering over 70 professions, including some of the highest paying. Travel and construction are both limited and require special permissions, none of which are guaranteed. Palestine refugees in Lebanon are not granted citizenship; nor are they allowed to own land.

All of these combine to make it that much more imperative for young people to have more access to education. Access to education is one of the crucial ways that we can work to provide young people with expanded opportunities for their futures. LEAP works toward that goal - boosting English proficiency and fostering positive self-esteem and self-confidence. The time is critical, and the window is short for our students. Please help us help them make these goals a reality! Donate today!

Posted on June 6, 2018

Posted on June 6, 2018

Read this personal testimony about the power and importance of LEAP programming from Jackson Gzehoviak, LEAP's Education Director:


Our students have some of the biggest dreams. When I first worked with LEAP as an Education Coordinator in Rashidieh Camp in 2014, I got to know many students and hear their hopes and dreams. Many of them had dreams beyond the camp - to engage with the world around them and to become changemakers in their communities. One student made a profound impact on me. He walked up to me one day and said, “I hear you speak Russian. Teach me.” And so I did. We had weekly lessons and talked about language and read literature. This student engaged with our programming every year, and it was his dream to go to school and travel. And so he did. This student recently enrolled at a school in the United Kingdom, and he has spread his networks across the European continent. He is well on his way to fulfilling some of his dreams.

We cannot take credit for the brilliance, work ethic, determination, and kindness of the students we serve. We also cannot guarantee that each student will achieve each personal goal to the letter. But we can take heart in knowing that young people in the camps are dreaming amidst struggle. They are continuing to push limits and boundaries, and it is this fire and zeal for education, expansion, and creativity that push us as educators, activists, and program participants to work harder. Please help us make an impact. Help us encourage and develop the dreams of students who face so many obstacles. Your donation can make a tremendous impact - even $5 or $10, compounded with the donations of others, helps us toward our goal. Donate today!

Thank you,

Jackson Gzehoviak

Education Director, LEAP Program

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