Children in need
The Saïd Foundation
The Saïd Foundation was founded in 1982 in memory of Wafic and Rosemary Saïd’s son, Karim. To celebrate the great consideration he always had for those less fortunate than himself, the Saïd Foundation has supported scores of grass roots organisations in the Middle East over the last three decades. The Foundation looks for those which work to bring much needed services to children from disadvantaged backgrounds, often in areas where available services are few or otherwise absent.
The Saïd Foundation is a UK-registered charity which seeks to improve the life chances of children and young people by providing them with opportunities to receive good education and care.
The Foundation aims to create a lasting legacy by enabling young people to fulfil their potential, whether by achieving positions of leadership in their future professional fields or by overcoming disadvantages such as disability, through opportunities for learning, skills development and community-based care that will have a beneficial impact on their own lives and on the wider community. It estimates that its direct beneficiaries number over 100,000.
The Foundation is a non-political and non-sectarian organisation. Its partners include non-governmental organisations, educational institutions, other charities, government ministries and individuals.
In 1993, the Foundation established the Child Development Programme with the aim of supporting community-based organisations in Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan to develop and deliver good quality and sustainable care services for disabled children and education in areas of greatest need. The CDP Programme has funded more than 250 project grants since its start, reaching tens of thousands of children.
In 1996, the Foundation established the first Disability Programme in Syria, opening an office in Damascus in 2001 to directly implement the Programme. The office became a locally registered charity in Syria in 2010, the Saïd Foundation for Development, with the chief aims of strengthening the professional capacity of disability practitioners and organisations, raising awareness of disability, developing a cadre of national trainers in disability-related fields and supporting or providing services for children with disabilities and their families, especially in marginalised communities. The goals of the Saïd Foundation for Development later expanded to include providing support for the development of Syria’s higher education, health and cultural heritage sectors.
The Foundation further expanded in 1997 when the Arab Culture Programme was launched in collaboration with the British Museum’s Arab World Education Programme. The ACP was wound down in 2009 to enable the Foundation to focus more clearly on its other programmes.
In 1984, the Foundation launched a scholarship programme for students from Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine to promote education and development in the Middle East by providing educational and training opportunities to exceptional students with the potential to make a difference in these countries. The students from the Middle East supported by the Foundation now number approximately 1,150, most of whom have studied at British universities. Alumni have gone on to successful careers and made a real difference to the lives of others.
Due to the unrest in Syria, the Saïd Foundation has, since 2011, been providing support for emergency humanitarian assistance, education from pre-school to tertiary level, child protection and healthcare, to Syrians most affected whether refugees in Lebanon, Jordan or Turkey or internally displaced persons within Syria itself. Between 2011 and 2017, the Foundation provided over £13 million of support for such assistance. Given the complex nature of this crisis, the Foundation provides its support through international agencies with the expertise, partnerships on the ground and strategic and operational capability to respond to the ever-changing circumstances. This support is provided through the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and Save the Children.