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Dardachat: Student-led support network

A platform to boost peer support and advice on accessing university, led by refugees and host community students.

Photo of ben webster
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What problem does the idea help to solve and how does your solution work? (2,000 characters maximum)

Problem: - Only 1% of refugees access higher education; compared to a 37% global average enrolment rate. - Lack of access to information on higher education opportunities (universities, relevant courses, financing - scholarships available, student experience etc.) - Particularly high information costs for refugees attending university in a foreign country - Feelings of isolation, lack of community and confidence when applying for university Solution: Dardachat provides a platform for individuals and groups to share and engage with content related to accessing higher education, informing and inspiring fellow university-age youth across the Middle East. A team of student leaders will coordinate with local student groups to share existing Mosaik Education resources, expertise and tools, empowering other student groups and individuals to create and share their own content. Student groups and individuals will be able to re-use and remix existing content on the Dardachat platform, whilst creating and contributing their own original and adapted content. ultimately scaling the amount of knowledge-sharing among university-age youth and community building. Students are incentivised to share content through online badges recording the type of content, subject and number of downloads/users online. Badges are offered by Mosaik and can be used on on CVs or in other professional or academic application forms. Dardachat is an existing project , led by a small group of six Student Leaders who are directly creating peer advice and support, run on a small scale in Jordan and Lebanon Our idea is to replicate this idea at a larger scale by refocusing the work of these Student Leaders to support existing student networks and groups in creating their own content and activities, building on existing resources and models currently used Dardachat, thereby creating a step change in the scale and diversity of support and advice of Dardachat.

Geography of focus (500 characters)

This idea targets countries in the Middle East with highest refugees density, Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan, since Dardachat as a platform aims to connect refugees to information and inspiration from other refugees or host-community students on accessing higher education.

Building Bridges: What bridge does your idea build between people on the move and neighbors towards a shared future of stability and promise? (500 characters)

With the influx of refugees into countries such as Lebanon and Jordan, current policies and higher education options are constantly changing. Both refugee and host-community students alike benefit from knowing more about university options and opportunities available to them and advice from current students. By providing a platform for university-age refugee and host community youth across different countries to create and share advice, support and stories related to accessing university,

What human need is your idea solving for? (1,000 characters)

At an outcome level, this idea is helping refugees meet their need for education - education is most often amongst top three priorities for refugee communities and is part in the universal declaration of human rights and 1951 refugee convention This idea is also solving for the human need for information - in particular, information related to university opportunities both in their current country of residence and abroad. At a process level, it is also solving the need for human connection, as it is often isolating to move to a foreign country and navigate the higher education landscape alone. This online community connects youth to students who have overcome similar barriers and can empathize and help solve the challenges prospective students feel they are facing, alone.

What will be different within the community of focus as a result of implementing your idea? (1,000 characters)

The Dardachat online community of students and prospective students, both as individuals and as members of refugee or host-community student groups, will be better informed and up-to-date on university options available to them, have more confidence in accessing higher education opportunities, and be better connected to a network of university-age youth whether it is sharing knowledge one group has found that might help the other, engaging with or asking follow up questions to content another student had shared, or coming together to problem solve at a local meet-up.

What is the inspiration behind your idea? (1,000 characters)

Version 1 of Dardachat: students currently produce and publish on average one video, written story or Facebook live session per week and aim to hold one local meet-up session per month. Participants on the Facebook page have engaged with the content by sharing it with their own peers and networks, asking follow-up questions or attending meet-ups where they participate in dialogue related to Dardachat content or topics, learn skills they can apply to their own experiences or projects and build their network of students in their community. The six students currently working on the dardachat platform, and those who have contributed in the past, who have shown passion, resilience, and leadership in helping drive this project forward. The energy and potential of refugee youth we have worked with in Jordan and Lebanon

Describe the dynamics of the community in which the idea is to be implemented. (1,000 characters)

University-age youth are already gathering in the form of offline student groups, chat groups on channels like WhatsApp, interest-focused groups on Facebook. They are already sharing relevant information on their experience as a student both within these groups or individually with each other or on their social media platforms. Dardachat brings all of these moving pieces together, builds the capacity of students to improve quality and targeting of activities, and leverages the experiences of an existing group of student leaders involved currently involved in dardachat to create an organised system of knowledge sharing and community building.

How does your idea leverage and empower community strengths and assets to help create an environment for success? (1,000 characters)

We can leverage the learning and experience of the students involved in to lead student groups in helping their peers reach university By leveraging other existing student groups we can also contextualise information sharing so that it is more relevant and directly applicable. We can broaden the Dardachat online community widening the network and resources of both refugee and host-community youth We can connect refugee student groups with host-community youth in the sharing of and engaging with content each group creates From Dardachat version we found the sharing of knowledge from experts which ultimately helped inspire pieces of content— we can find out what expert-knowledge student groups are interested in tapping and by connecting one expert with one group and then creating a video or Q&A that can be disseminated to thousands of students online we ultimately create a resource to be shared by all students.

What other partners or stakeholders will work alongside you in implementing the idea, if any? (1,000 characters)

A team of volunteer students Local student organisations in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq Local student online groups in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq

What part of the displacement journey is your solution addressing

  • Arriving and settling at a destination community

Tell us how you'd describe the type of innovation you are proposing

  • Platform: Creating a community or market that facilitates interaction between users and resources

Idea Proposal Stage

  • Pilot: We have started to implement the idea as a whole with a first set of real users. The feasibility of an innovation is tested in a small-scale and real world application (i.e. 3-15% of the target population)

Group or Organization Name

Mosaik Education

Tell us more about your group or organization [or lived experience as a displaced person?] (1000 characters)

Mosaik's mission is to empower a community of refugees to shape and lead programmes that improve access to university. In 2018 we started co-design workshops so young refugees can have a say on what their programmes look like. In 2019 we‘ll work across 2 countries, 5 towns and cities, reaching over 200 young refugees, 6 local community centres, and thousands more online.

Website URL:

www.mosaik.ngo

Type of submitter

  • We are a registered Non-Profit Organization

Organization Headquarters: Country

UK

Organization Headquarters: City / State

London

6 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of George
Team

Is your organization willing to collaborate with other social organizations using new technology in order to make the most positive impact possible around the world with our combined innovations?

Photo of Maisara Sassi
Team

Hello ben webster , I love how creative and far-reaching your idea is! I think it targets such vital aspects of life on the move beyond providing access to education, as it touches on the “human connection” aspect in host societies.

I have some questions and would truly appreciate your response:
1. Did you base your plan on an analysis of the targeted group’s possession of smartphones and/ or access to the Internet? What measures (if any) are you planning to take in order to extend this platform to the biggest percentage possible of refugee youth?
2. Do you plan on continuing to use Facebook as the connecting platform or do you plan on developing Dardachat into its own platform?
3. Are experts or education/ teaching personnel invited to these monthly meet-ups? Will these meet-ups be sponsored/ in collaboration with any education entities/organizations of host countries? Or will they be a “by students for students” kind of meet-ups?

Wishing you all the best and looking forward to hearing from you!

Photo of Abel Mucyo
Team

Good idea Ben! Educational access for people on the move whether resettled or not is crucial. Talk to any refugee or displaced person of school-going age, the first thing they ask is how can I go back to school? I see this peer driven exchange making an impact. One question though: I imagine access to the platform requires a smart phone/computer and internet. How accessible are these to most of the people you intend to reach? Good work!

Photo of Patricia
Team

Hi Ben! If you are thinking about expanding this project to Iraq, please do let us know! Many members of our community in the Kurdistan Region who have been displaced from Syria or other parts of Iraq regularly discuss this issue of access to education post-conflict and have taken an interest in or are working on developing solutions for the very issues that you are discussing here. We would be happy to connect you!

Photo of NDEF Cameroon
Team

Hi ben webster, welcome to the Challenge. We wish you success in your good work!

Photo of Hadi Shamieh
Team

Amazing work! Makes a lot of sense. As an immigrant from Lebanon to Canada through education, I have learned, and would love to share, a lot of tips and tricks on how to browse programs, look for awards, and get funding!