Stories of Change
Top: StARS ambassadors, Bottom: StARS ambassadors led seed planting activity
StARS Ambassadors are Thriving Together
Refugees around the world have immense potential and many skills to offer their communities. Our local partner in Egypt, St. Andrew’s Refugee Services, known as StARS*, recognizes this and is constantly developing new ways to lift up the members of their community. Through the StARS Ambassadors program, StARS staff members, who are also refugees, are growing together, becoming strong leaders, and lifting up the important work they are a part of.
Ambassadors in the program were selected from StARS’ five core programs and were chosen according to their skills and potential. The Ambassadors program aims to help young refugees who are early in their careers develop professionally while representing StARS in meetings with funders, donors and partners. Mukhtar, one of the ambassadors, shared, “the program has provided me with strong communication skills, a talent for relationship building and a high level of professionalism.”
By working together, the ambassadors create a team environment where they can support and learn from one another. Nehal explained, “[Being an ambassador] has given me an opportunity to represent my department and StARS, and to interact, work and earn with a team of staff members from different departments in StARS.” Similarly, Mona, another ambassador, referred to the program as “a golden opportunity” and said she now has “strong relationships with the team members and other staff members.”
In addition to being leaders in StARS, the ambassadors are responsible for organizing events such as the bi-annual bazaar, the multi-faith Iftar (an evening meal used to break fast during Ramadan), and various debates and presentations. These activities allow ambassadors to practice event planning and organizing skills which they can then use when hosting visitors, donors and partners.
This past spring, the ambassadors led a seed-planting activity across the organization to raise awareness of climate change while collectively fighting against it. They also started a book club for all StARS staff to meet monthly, discuss their thoughts and continue to strengthen their community. Together, the StARS ambassadors are creating endless opportunities and continue to grow and thrive.
*StARS is a refugee- and women-led organization that connects refugees in Cairo to educational, legal, medical, psychosocial, housing and other services.