Art of Hope
With children making up nearly half of its casualties—where 40 percent of them are under the age of 11—the Syrian conflict is now in its 8th year, forcing the world to continue witnessing the worst humanitarian crisis since the second world war.
Today, with more than 50 percent of the Syrian population currently displaced, the tragedy is beyond elocation, but is all life encompassing.
Syrian children and their families have not only endured forced displacement but as the spectators of war many suffer from mental and psychological traumas as a result of violence, death, hunger, sexual and mental abuse.
In addition, they face a current and future state where they are deprived of consistent education and work opportunities—leaving the international community and its conciseness with the peril of losing an entire generation of Syrians. When a child is not in school for more than two years the likelihood of them going back is minimal—a fact recognized by the UN high commission for refugees (UNHCR). This would be a loss not only catastrophic for the Syrians but a world that will be faced with a broken generation of Syrians.
Our Students At Our ART OF HOPE Center In Lebanon
It is critical to realize that Syrian refugees once had homes, jobs, families, opportunities, aspirations, dreams, and dignity. Today, all that, is stripped away and has given way to fear, depression, joblessness, vulnerability, lack of education, and desperation—where at the core, people’s biggest dream is to survive.
In an effort to alleviate some of the trauma, PTSD, and psychological wounds forced upon Syrian refugees ART OF HOPE supports this population through art-therapy and vocational training. We do so, by empowering local psychologists, therapists, and teachers to support the refugee population in some of the most vulnerable conditions.
Our aim is to engage children in activities during the time when they’re facing the harsh reality of staying behind with no opportunity of a formal and informal education. In addition, by engaging mothers and adult girls in vocational training programs we aim to bring back a sense of self-worth, dignity, and normalcy that in the long-term will help them have a smoother journey overcoming the harsh realities of living life as survivors of war—whether in a host country or back home in Syria.
Founder, President—Art of Hope
Meet Our Founder
Tara Kangarlou is an award-winning American journalist and author who has reported and produced for major news outlets such as CNN, CNN International, NBC Los Angeles, Al Jazeera America, Huffington Post and Al Monitor.
As a multimedia journalist, Ms. Kangarlou has reported from the United States and around the world. Since 2014, she has spent much time on the ground in conflict zones and in the Syrian border regions of Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey, where she witnessed the Syrian conflict first hand. Having witnessed the issues affecting the Syrian refugees, host countries, and the region at large, Ms. Kangarlou decided to move beyond reporting and to create a platform through which there can be a direct impact on the mental health and psychological well-being of those affected by this crisis.
In 2016, she founded Art of Hope a 501(c)3 non-profit, non-governmental, non-religious charitable organization that aspires to provide art therapy, and alternative educational and vocational training for Syrian refugees in an effort to address the massive mental-health and psychological challenges among the refugee population.