The Hope Fund secures and coordinates scholarships from U.S. colleges and universities for talented and driven Palestinian youth, predominantly from refugee camps in the Arab world, for whom a higher education would otherwise be unattainable. We endeavor to enrich the lives of young people, creating hope out of despair while fostering familiarity and understanding between the American and Palestinian cultures.
Since 2000, the Hope Fund has assisted nearly 40 students in the completion of their undergraduate degrees. Their outstanding academic performance and contributions to campus life have helped the Hope Fund bring greater numbers of students to the United States, expanding its work as its reputation has grown. That work continues even as the Hope Fund has transitioned from an independent 501(c)(3) organization to a program managed by AMIDEAST, the leading American education and training provider in the Middle East and North Africa. Currently, 41 students are enrolled in undergraduate programs through the Hope Fund, and the program is working to expand enrollments.
The need for the Hope Fund Program is clear. Nearly five million Palestinian refugees are registered in the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon, many of them living in extreme poverty. Higher education remains a dream for the children of these refugees. While UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) provides a limited number of schools, these facilities do not come close to accommodating the needs of this population. In Lebanon, for instance, there are only nine high schools to serve close to half a million people spread out throughout 12 camps. In Syria, the UN provides only a small number of elementary schools. In the West Bank and Gaza, the schools are overcrowded and impoverished, and often are closed for months at a time.