TORONTO: The Daughters for Life Foundation (DFL) is welcoming today the first five female scholars from Syria who have been granted full-time scholarships to study in Canada, in partnership with the International Language Academy of Canada (ILAC).

Alaa Alakel, Asmaa Labbad, Aya Hammoud, Ayaat Labbad and Raneem Kanaan are the first out of a total of 15 young women who will leave behind the grim reality of conflict to pursue their dreams in Canada. ILAC is offering full scholarships for the young women to study English at their Toronto campus before they go on to pursue undergraduate studies at DFL partner colleges and universities across Canada.

 The young women have spent the last few years living a nightmare with little or no hope for the future. Through the joint efforts of DFL and its partners, education will now provide a pathway for their healing and growth.

“The Syrian war has taken many things away from me but I refuse to let it take my spirit,” says 23-year-old Ayaat Labbad, one of the students arriving in Canada later on, today  “Everything I learn and any skills I build will be directed towards working hard and helping people.”

Ayaat is from Damascus and was forced to leave Syria when she was 17, leaving behind her father who she has not heard from since. She has been living temporarily in Lebanon, teaching Science to children and advocating for the protection of women and children.

The young women will arrive at Pearson airport in the evening and a press conference will be held tomorrow, on Friday, February 10 at the ILAC Toronto campus. Local politicians, media and community members are invited to attend.

About The Daughters for Life Foundation

DLF believes that lasting peace in the Middle East can be achieved through the education of young women.  Since 2010, the registered Canadian charity has helped almost 400 young women from countries like Syria, Egypt, Palestine, Israel, Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan to pursue post-secondary education around the world.

 About The International Language Academy of Canada

ILAC is one of the oldest partners of the Daughters for Life mission to educate exceptional young women in the Middle East. DFL collaboration with ILAC began in 2012 and has since been remarkably fruitful, with the academy even taking on the role of the Premier Host and Sponsor at our 4th Gala Dinner, held in May 2016.