100 LIVES Joins Near East Foundation to Announce $7 Million Scholarship Fund

Introduced at the Near East Foundation (NEF)’s Centennial Gala, the Philanthropic Scholarship Program Will Offer Aid to 100 Middle Eastern Students

NEW YORK, Nov. 4, 2015 / PRNewswire — A new eight-year educational scholarship has been established to benefit one hundred at-risk children from the Arab Middle East. The 100 LIVES initiative announced the new program at the Near East Foundation’s Centennial Gala before an audience of humanitarian aid leaders and members of the Armenian community. 100 LIVES and NEF developed the program together as a way to express gratitude on behalf of the Armenian community to the people of the Middle East who offered shelter and food to refugees of the Armenian Genocide a century ago.

Valued at nearly $7 million, the 100 LIVES and Near East Foundation Gratitude Scholarship Program will provide children affected by conflict, displacement and poverty the opportunity to study at UWC Dilijan, an international co-educational boarding school currently hosting students from over 60 countries, or other UWC network schools around the world. The program will be administered through the Scholae Mundi Foundation, which aims to provide students with opportunities to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to contribute to the international community and catalyze social change.

The 100 LIVES initiative was founded this year to celebrate those who helped destitute Armenians one hundred years ago, allowing their descendants to survive and thrive. This scholarship is one of the many ways 100 LIVES seeks to continue in their spirit by supporting people and organizations working to keep the legacy of gratitude alive today.

“We are proud to be able to help parents experiencing great hardship and uncertainty to secure a better future for their children, as our parents and grandparents were able to do for us,” said Ruben Vardanyan, co-founder of 100 LIVES. “It is with great pride that we announce our partnership with the Near East Foundation, and with eager anticipation that we look to identify the scholarship recipients.”

Armine Afeyan—daughter of 100 LIVES co-founder, Noubar Afeyan—announced the Scholarship Program to a crowded room at the NEF Centennial event.

“By providing crucial access to education, we truly hope to be able to provide these children opportunities to have the successful future they deserve—much like the extraordinary work the NEF has been committed to these past hundred years,” said Armine Afeyan.

NEF will facilitate this scholarship as a part of its larger mission to deliver education, community organization and economic development throughout the Middle East and Africa. Originally founded in 1915 as the American Committee for Armenian and Syrian Relief and later incorporated as the Near East Relief through an act of Congress, NEF has played a crucial role over the past 100 years in assisting the world’s most vulnerable populations.

“The Near East Foundation is proud to celebrate its centennial anniversary by enabling a hundred driven and in-need students to receive a world-class education,” said NEF President Dr. Charles Benjamin. “We are excited to join 100 LIVES in rewarding talented students and future leaders the opportunity to excel and succeed.”

The first recipients of the scholarship will be enrolled in UWC schools in 2016.

About 100 LIVES
100 LIVES is a new global initiative rooted in the events of the Armenian Genocide, during which hundreds of thousands of Armenians were saved by the courageous and heroic acts of intervening individuals and institutions. A century later, 100 LIVES seeks to express gratitude, to share remarkable stories of survivors and their saviors, and to celebrate the strength of the human spirit. To that end, 100 LIVES developed and launched the Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity, a new international humanitiarian award seeking to recognize those who risk themselves so that others may survive and thrive. For more information, visit: https://100lives.com

About the Near East Foundation
The Near East Foundation helps build more sustainable, prosperous, and inclusive communities in the Middle East and Africa. NEF has worked with refugees since it was founded in 1915 in response to the Armenian Genocide, and has organized relief and development projects in nearly 50 countries. For the past 100 years, NEF has worked to provide vulnerable and disenfranchised populations with the skills and resources they need in order to fully engage and prosper in their own communities and economies. For more information, visit www.neareast.org.

About UWC Movement
UWC makes education a force to unite peoples, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future. To achieve, this UWC deliberately selects students of different ethnicities, religions, nationalities and socio-economic backgrounds. Selection for UWC is based on merit by selection committees in more than 150 countries. This unique and challenging education model places a high value on experiential learning, to prepare students for future roles in community leadership.Founded in 1962, UWC now has 15 schools and colleges on five continents, the majority of these are two-year residential colleges following the International Baccalaureate Diploma, a qualification UWC played a major part in developing. Currently, 75% of UWC students receive either full or partial financial assistance. UWC also has a network of short courses, often held in regions of political, economic, ethnic or environmental tension on themes such as conflict management or environmental awareness. The UWC movement aims to inspire a lifelong commitment to social responsibility and to creating a global fellowship for international understanding among its alumni, now numbering more than 50,000.

Photography, videos and press release for media use: http://edelman.isebox.net/100lives

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