Lebanon and Jordan

For Nelly Wakim Awad, 28, the desire to protect the lives of children has been a part of her life since she was a young child. Her previous focus was on the sociology of childhood through the documentation and comparison of children’s experiences as a violation of their rights during times of peace and war.

Prior to becoming an Obama Scholar, Nelly was a Research, Analysis, Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning Officer on a USAID-funded project that works to improve the lives in the South of Syria through the design of service infrastructure, livelihood projects, building governance and women economic empowerment based on community needs. Nelly has dedicated the last 10 years to working with refugees, migrant workers, as well as vulnerable host and local communities in both Jordan and Lebanon.

Awad, who has a BA in Political Science and International Affairs from Lebanese American University and an MA in Global Citizenship, Identities, and Human Rights from the University of Nottingham, plans to focus her learning experience as an Obama Foundation Scholar to improve the current lived experiences of children in the Middle East and especially in her country of Lebanon.

“What I am looking to gain from the Scholars Program is how to master tools in policy design, making efforts more effective, identifying innovative solutions to complex global problems, and promoting change through values-based leadership.”

Photo: The Obama Foundation