THE YEAR OF REBIRTH
2021 was the year of rebirth. It was the year of records, of revolution. Our best year ever.
I’m not going to beat around the bush. After years of extremely hard work, we have achieved our most incredible goal, the one that so many had deemed ‘impossible’ and which constitutes the most decisive victory in our educational revolution so far, that is the opening of the first International School in the world to offer refugee and vulnerable children, free of charge, the most recognized, prestigious, exclusive educational pathway of all: the International Baccalaureate (IB).
I use this word “revolution” with all the gravity it deserves. We at Still I Rise are the first in the world to have the good fortune, privilege, and honor of democratizing an educational path hitherto accessible to only 0.1% of school-age children on the planet. From the most elite campuses ever built, we have taken it to Mathare, one of the most overcrowded slums in the African continent.
(Extract from the opening letter of SIR's president for the 2021 activities report)
2020 was a watershed year all around the world and Still I Rise was no exception. How could it be otherwise? We had just started pursuing our dreams, investing significant resources and running great risks, when the COVID-19 bombshell dropped on the world.
In the space of just a few weeks, both of our schools - in Greece and Turkey - had to close down. The latter was an especially hard blow because we had, after mammoth efforts, only just succeeded in opening it as the world’s first international school for refugee children. So, almost before we even realized what was happening, all our hard work seemed to have come to nothing, and education was the very last thing on the world’s mind. Still I Rise was still just a small organization with very big ambitions but also limited means.
The onset of the pandemic risked being the end for us too. We risked collapse. But we didn’t give up.
(Extract from the opening letter of SIR's president for the 2020 activities report)