Selwyn House’s powerful network of Old Girls reaches all corners of the globe.
The current UNESCO group had an opportunity to speak with Old Girl Charlotte Bellis who is a journalist with Al Jazeera English and regularly reports on the Middle East and displaced persons.
Six months ago Charlotte decided she wanted to meet some of the people that had been at the heart of so many of her stories.
“I had talked on the phone with people in Syria as the war raged but never sat down with them and helped them in person. I decided to volunteer at a refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesvos,” said Charlotte. “There, I met Syrian refugee Omar Alshakal who had started Refugee4Refugees. He fled Deir Ez Zor in Syria in 2014 after ISIS took control of his hometown. He reached Greece and decided to help other refugees who were arriving to Europe by starting an NGO.”
Charlotte has helped Omar grow the NGO and organise media, funding and volunteers.
“I have since returned to Al Jazeera in Doha so work remotely,” said Charlotte. “We have a great and surprising partnership as two people from polar opposite backgrounds. Omar has swiftly become one of my closest friends.”
The NGO has already helped thousands of refugees and Charlotte feels privileged to know it will only grow and offer tangible good to the world.
The UNESCO girls had an informative and engaging conversation with both Charlotte and Omar. UNESCO has a goal of promoting peace and international understanding and is lead by teachers Adele Staples and Lucy Evers.
Are you an Old Girl who would like to reconnect? SHOGA would love to hear your story. Please contact Kate Heap firstname.lastname@example.org