UPDATE: We did it!! Thanks to your generous donations, we successfully raised enough funds to send five telescopes to astronomy students in Libya (Africa). This means that five different Libyan cities will have an astronomy club telescope. We hope this impacts many students’ lives!
Students in Libya Need Peace and Hope
Astronomy for Equity, a US-based nonprofit that supports marginalized communities around the world, is helping students in Libya (Africa) who are growing up in the aftermath of war and political unrest.
The 2011 revolution, part of the Arab Spring, led to a fractured government and civil wars, leaving casualties and displaced families in its wake. A six-year war against ISIS left the infrastructure shattered, along with an economic crisis and reduced health services. But the biggest casualty has been education.
A Libyan girl stands in her war-damaged classroom.
With many schools reduced to rubble, transformed into military barracks, or used as shelters for displaced families, getting an education in Libya is difficult. Young people have suffered post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from living with gunfire or losing family members. A recent political settlement for a unified government provided hope, but COVID-19 closed many schools, further destabilizing Libya’s vulnerable youth.
Girls in Libya study astronomy at a presentation on the solar system.
Where other science labs don’t exist, the natural laboratory above is accessible to all, day and night. Hands-on experience inspires students to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).
Roaya Astronomical Clubs in Libyan Schools is a project that brings STEM education to children in five Libyan cities – Tripoli, Sabha, Sirt, Benghazi, and Derna – through astronomy workshops and meetings with astronauts and scientists. Interactive education and recreational activities after school and on weekends bring awe and wonder back into the lives of these children.
Workshops provide psychological support through building handmade astronomical models and competitions. A new, unified network of astronomy clubs in the most war-impacted cities will help rebuild peaceful social interaction and educational institutions.
A Libyan girl asks a question in astronomy club.
How You Can Help
Roaya Astronomical Clubs in Libyan Schools is a project of Roaya for Astronomy and Space Applications, a Libyan NGO, and has support from the Libyan Ministry of Education. But they are unable to obtain one critical tool– telescopes. Astronomy for Equity will use your donation to buy telescopes in the U.S. that will be shipped directly to the schools.
In this initial phase of the campaign, the first four telescopes will be sent to Libya, with more to come. These telescopes will inspire STEM in thousands of Libyan students. Viewing the Universe for the first time can lead a student to a lifetime of inspiration.
Astronomy Club Activities
This project provides hope and inspiration for children, allowing them to see a future for themselves and their country. The project is a model for other schools and cities, helping the country recover in youth education, and bringing hope to survivors of war.
Be a part of it – Please donate today.