OETIS EdTech Pilot Project

Techfugees has forged a partnership with the Syria Relief charity and the British Council to deliver a new method of educating Syrian IDPs (internally displaced people) and others affected by the conflict.

The back story

Back in Autumn of 2016, Technology entrepreneur David Cazalet reached out to us with an idea: Requiem for Aleppo, a non-political musical homage to the people of the war-torn city. Requiem for Aleppo was to premiere at the famous Sadler’s Wells, and given David’s passion for the transformative power of technology, he wanted to explore a possible partnership with Techfugees.

After meeting with our team, we agreed to help boost the profile and fundraising potential of the premiere, and help with deployment of a tech project in partnership with Syria Relief.

Requiem for Aleppo

The project 

Syria Relief has been involved in charitable work in Syria since 2011 when the conflict began. The charity is interested in improving the lives and career prospects of Syrian teachers. The war has had a very damaging impact on the Syrian education system, with many teachers fleeing their homes, schools, and the country itself. 

Techfugees aims to “empower the displaced with technology’’ and a big part of that is boosting the impact that NGOs have on the ground with specialized and curated tech.

After discussions with David Cazalet and Anna Farina of Syria Relief, we decided to explore the possibility of online courses for these teachers. In Syria, mobile and internet infrastructure is still sufficient to allow students to connect.

Delivery and impact 

Today, Techfugees is involved in the weekly management of the project. We add layers of value through:

  • Expertise in tech (evaluating, curating and helping to deploy solutions)
  • Expertise in education
  • Project management
  • Developing a narrative which aims to raise further funds. 

We partnered with The British Council to provide the content of the courses. 

It is too early to report specific data, but:

  • We gave each student a “placement test’’ so we know their level of ability before starting the course
  • The platform is giving us useful metrics, so we know how long people are spending on the courses, as well as how they are performing. This means we will be able to prove that the courses are making a difference.
  • Testing at the beginning and end of the courses, mapped to the CEF (Common European Framework) give us internationally recognizable data on students’ progress
  • We are also gathering qualitative data from course moderators, which enable us to improve the user experience

We announced the partnership, which is a pilot project, during the recent Techfugees first Global Summit in Paris and keep a diary of blog posts on the progress made by the project

How to get involved? 

You can support the project by donating to Techfugees or the partners associated: Syria Relief and Requiem for Aleppo.

You can support the scaling of the project in new regions by sending an email to tom@techfugees.com

You can support the project by running a projection of the Requiem for Aleppo contemporary ballet in the aim to raise awareness and funds – simply email tom@techfugees.com with the date, location and the details of the event you are looking to organise.

Some quotes from our partners 

“At Syria Relief we are extremely honoured to work in collaboration with David Cazalet, Techfugees and British Council for the implementation of such an innovative and impactful project. We firmly believe that quality education is the backbone of Syria future and teachers are playing an extremely important role on the ground at the moment. The beauty of this project is the link between art, music, technology and direct presence on the ground: the very successful Requiem for Aleppo performance allowed raising enough funds to combine technological solution for providing online English training and set up a fully functional training centre managed by Syria Relief team on the ground where teachers can receive specialised courses such as Teaching in Emergency, Psychosocial Support, Child protection, etc.”

– Anna Farina, Syria Relief

Personally, I truly enjoying working with such a professional and capable group of people and I do believe that the amazing results coming from this project will have a tangible positive effect on thousands if children inside Syria”  

“As composer and producer of Requiem for Aleppo I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved to date. I spent a great deal of time researching the right partners for this project as I wanted to make a tangible and provable immediate difference to the situation in Syria on the ground. This has now happened and the project will continue to grow as Requiem for Aleppo now tours the world. It could not have been done without the incredible support and vision of Syria Relief, Techfugees and the British Council.”

– David Cazalet, composer, Requiem for Aleppo and project donor


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