“It is a huge step moving from a student to a facilitator, from receiving education [to] giving it. As a student I had a responsibility to myself understanding all the materials, but then as facilitator I had the responsibility and a big duty to give [an] education [to] each and every student we had”- Saad.

Meet Saad, former Sky School student turned facilitator. On-going war and unrest in Iraq required Saad and his family flee their home, only to end their journey as refugees in Amman, Jordan. Growing up, education was a top priority for Saad. He seized each and every opportunity to learn more and expand his horizons. It is no surprise that when Sky School’s Social Entrepreneur course became available, he was one of the first to enrol. The knowledge he gleaned from the course inspired him as a champion of social justice. “This course [taught] us how we raise the poor to a level that they can be independent to make income and help themselves, because if we provided only solutions without a long term plan, the solution and the resources will be only temporary.” Upon completion of the course, Saad was among the first to sign up as a facilitator so that he might impart on other students, skills necessary to take their dreams to the next level.

After recruiting students for the class, Saad led Sky School’s Peace Building course. “The course [was] a very diverse [group] of refugees. I had Sudanese, Somali, Syrian, Jordanian and Iraqi students. Their ideas inspired me, surprised me sometimes! I was feeling so sad for how [many] remarkable minds and personalities were there in my class and they are all waiting for a chance, for a hope to do something for their future and the future of their families. No one deserves to lose his/her youth just waiting.”

Saad’s experience as a Sky School student equipped him with the skills necessary to steer the class but it is his life experience that empowered him to accompany them on their journey as refugees.

“I wanted them to think critically and gain the confidence to stand and overcome the barrier of expressing their ideas to others. In the end, work with refugees taught me [about] being compassionate [to] others, sharing their pain, putting the needs of others first.”

Shortly after Saad started to facilitate the Peace Building course, he and his family received word that they had been granted refugee status in Australia. They now reside in Melbourne, which has a large Iraqi population, making their new country feel a bit more like the home they were forced to leave behind. With his eyes looking to a future that is very hopeful for him and his family, Saad is currently volunteering with several organizations and attending RMIT University in Melbourne where he is pursuing a Bachelor of Business (Information Systems). Most recently, Saad attended Sky School’s hackathon in Singapore, where he provided invaluable contributions to a course on Ethical Leadership.

Saad is honoured to continue to be of service to his fellow refugees through Sky School. “We at Sky School are interested in providing face to face direct education for each individual. We want the student to feel that their ideas and their skills matter. Happiness and joy was there within the class [and] I cared also for their emotion. Most of our students [were] coming to us not only for education but running away from their painful reality and their sorrow, so I had to make sure they spend a happy, comfortable time, making friends.”