Students Organize 4 Syria @ USC (SOS) works to support the displaced families of what is called "the greatest humanitarian crisis of our time"—the Syrian civil war and subsequent crisis of global population displacement.
How We Make A Difference
Our student-run organization started a program called Students Teach 4 Syria, in which USC students are trained in ESL tutoring and are matched with a Syrian student located in Los Angeles or San Diego. Our tutors meet with their students 1-2 hours per week and in that time they prepare for English placement exams, apply for scholarships and universities as well as improve speaking skills through conversation based model — also known as the "The Hope through Education" model—which Trojan alum and previous SOS board Lida Dianti learned from her efforts and experiences in Jordan working at the Middle East Children's Institute.
Recently, Students 4 Syria has branched out to recruit student tutors from UCLA and University of Michigan due to a high demand for tutors. Additionally, SOS has recently built a relationship with the resettled refugee community in San Diego. In partnership with the Syrian Community Network based in SD, the organization organized over 80 volunteers from USC, UCLA, UCSD and UCR to host two huge donation drives and distribution events where over 350 Syrian families attended. They distributed supplies to parents and put on a program for the Syrian children. The organization also seeks to raise awareness on campus through open dialogue and inclusive conservation. SOS hosts a speaker series as well as events such as film screenings so that the Syrian narrative can be heard on USC's campus.
How You Can Make A Difference
There are many ways you can support our mission. By becoming a tutoring volunteer, you will be given the chance to interact and help Syrian refugees in Los Angeles & San Diego. We do not require that you have a previous teaching experience and you will be supported by our team throughout the semester. In the beginning of each semester, we provide ESL and sensitivity training to ensure the time you spend with the refugees is as effective as possible. If you have experience teaching, we welcome you to help us develop and sustain the ESL program through lesson plans and volunteer training. Finally, we encourage you to contribute to SOS by donating to our programs or by holding your own fundraisers to help the Syrian refugees gain a higher quality of education.