Bilal Odayme

Student, Lebanon

Bilal, just 19, has lived through more than most. Having left Syria, he found safety in Lebanon. Being a ‘refugee’ usually has negative connotations, however, Bilal has made the best out the situation.

With the urge to keep growing academically and professionally, despite fleeing an ongoing war in his home country, Bilal applied for vocational scholarship to study Accounting soon after arriving in Lebanon. He worked hard and his efforts did not go unnoticed. This year, he graduated and received the second highest score throughout the whole country! And took first place in North Lebanon.

Earning such a high distinction provided Bilal with some exclusive opportunities, such as a celebratory ceremony and the chance to shake hands with Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun.

Now, Bilal is continuing his studies with a scholarship to study Accounting at Al Jinan University and he has big plans for the future. “My ambition is to finish the highest education I can get, hopefully a PhD, and  to open my own business”.

Alongside his studies, Bilal partakes in extracurricular courses on offer with a scholarship from SPARK. In the Civic Leadership classes, which give youth the skills to become future leaders, he was inspired to support a local orphanage by selling flowers. With a few other students, they walked the streets of Beirut to raise funds to buy books and gifts for the children.

“My dream is to open an NGO that caters directly to children. We can utilise the expertise of the elderly, but the young ones hold the cards of evolution”. Bilal eventually wants to return to his home country, Syria, to contribute to rebuilding it: physically and morally, he says.

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