1744. Adnan Bseisu
Adnan Bseisu, aged 17, from London, created an online tutoring programme ‘Al Muntaha’ during lockdown, connecting British university students with underprivileged children from across the Middle East to improve their English language skills.
Before the pandemic, Adnan tutored at a local charity, and was determined to continue volunteering despite the lockdown by launching his own online tutoring programme, making use of a digital platform to overcome geographic borders and provide life-changing educational opportunities for children in Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Yemen and Iraq. After advertising the programme on social media and receiving too many requests to accommodate himself, Adnan began recruiting sixth form and university students and professional teachers to help him with providing weekly tuition, with a particular aim of empowering girls through education, and improving English language skills. Volunteer tutors are guided through a training course before meeting with their assigned students for 60 minutes each week over a video conferencing platform and planning sessions around their student’s interests.
In response to receiving the award, Adnan said:
“I am incredibly honoured to be receiving this recognition from the Prime Minister. More importantly, this award belongs to the sixth form and university students who tutor with ‘Al Muntaha’. Each month, they volunteer hundreds of hours of their time to offer underprivileged children in the Middle East a glimpse of how education can change lives.
“I am especially proud of the work we have done throughout the pandemic. When schools in the Middle East were closing with no reopening date in sight, we wore many hats at our weekly lessons with our students: teacher, friend, older sibling, and mentor. I am very grateful for the support we have received and hope to continue bridging the educational divide between the UK and the Middle East with technology.”