UC Davis helps Syrian refugees reclaim right to education

In Lebanon, Syrian refugees are reclaiming the human right to education with help from the University of California, Davis.

As that right — in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights’ Article 26 — marks 70 years in December, they are rewriting the narrative around what it means to be a refugee.

They are using the Article 26 Backpack, a new humanitarian tool developed by the university, to securely store and share the documents they need to rebuild their lives — documents such as diplomas, transcripts and resumes — with universities, scholarship agencies and employers. Nearly 600 people have already created virtual backpacks during workshops at refugee camps, community centers and the American University of Beirut.

“These are not people who are standing still,” said Keith David Watenpaugh, UC Davis professor and director of the Backpack project. “They are doing everything they can to move forward.”

I invite you to explore how the Article 26 Backpack is helping not only Syrian refugees, but also those with Special Immigrant Visas who are building new lives in Sacramento, California.

UC Davis story on Article 26 Backpack

Press kit with photos, b-roll and video (7 minutes, 42 seconds)

Media Resources

Julia Ann Easley, UC Davis News and Media Relations, 530-752-8248, jaeasley@ucdavis.edu

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