December 31, 2018

Changes are in the air. Turning points.

Eight years of war in Syria have shown us the worst and the best of what one person can do to another. The worst? So many thousands of people have lost nearly everything that matters to them.

The best? People are coming together to help one another in their pain and trauma. Everyone is a wounded healer. Everyone needs everyone else. Acts of selfless, unexpected love are transforming us for a different future. Real turning points.

It is astonishing to see changes that are uniting two generations — those who knew Syria before 2011 and those who only know Syria after the 2011 turning point.

Here are a few significant things we accomplished together during this transformative year 2018:

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In Jordan, we added 6,000 young people to the 20,000 we have educated since 2003 in our alternative educational program that welcomes refugees. Our unique way of stimulating curiosity to learn has become standard practice for any organization implementing learner-led learning for certification outside of attending formal classrooms.

We believe that young people are not passive objects. They’re people with hopes, fears, and infinite worth. Learner-led learning puts real relationships at the center of each classroom experience and creates spaces where children and youth are loved and listened to.

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Also in Jordan, we are pioneering “diversions” for youth who have made mistakes — ensuring that they do not get institutionalized, but instead get “community-ized” — restored to relationships and adult guidance in a community of mentors.

Youth needing a second chance are often thrown out, condemned, and forgotten — a real challenge. But this challenge is our patch. And these kids are “our” kids. So glad to be in this patch!

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In both Jordan and Syria, we took definite steps for a local response to a growing global mental health catastrophe. There are 65 million refugees worldwide and very few resources are put towards helping them heal from unspeakable trauma.

We’re developing cutting-edge ways for social involvement with people to experience their own healing and to accompany others in their healing. A turning point.

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Syria has begun the fragile process of post-conflict restoration. Our team there has grown to 4,000 staff and volunteers serving 2 million people. Over half of this team is young women — courageously driving reconciliation in a country torn apart by eight years of vicious conflict. Another turning point!

Restoration will be a hard and gritty process. But friends like you make it possible for our team of everyday heroes to be on the front lines of this process. Making change. Love. Forgiveness.

We are at turning points for Questscope, again! We made it this far because you made it with us. I can’t wait to continue this journey with you in 2019!

All my best to you,

Dr. Curt Rhodes
Founder and International Director