From Syria; seeking a Undergraduate degree in Mechatronics Engineering and is enrolled at Philadelphia University Jordan.
I am Bilal Alfarra, a 24-year-old Syrian refugee currently living in Jordan.
I am a junior at Philadelphia University, Mechatronics major.
I have been fascinated by machines (fans, computers and even washers) since I was a child. In Syria, machines do not die . I spent hours in my dad’s storage to revive them. When I failed, I took them apart to discover how they worked.
I always wanted to open my own business.
I worked since I was 13 and saved to get to my goal.
I started my business at age 16. I learned how to generate electricity from batteries to operate light bulbs and TV’s. During that period, Syria experienced repeated power outages. My business was a big success.
In 2012 we moved to Jordan. My family returned to Syria in 2014. I stayed behind to avoid the draft.
I found my eureka moment at a 3D printers workshop. It helped kickstart my future plans. I learned how to use AI & 3D technology to design bionic limbs. I began building a gender-neutral right arm prototype simulating my hand movement. With the help of a Brain Computer Interface, amputees can regain control over their artificial limbs.
The conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Palestine & Libya left behind many disabled children and youth.
Your support will enable me to put my passion, technical and bilingual skills to ease the physical and ensuing emotional suffering of youth impacted by conflict.
Why Would Donors Fund You?
By supporting me, you help me apply my skills to benefit a generation that lost more than a childhood and a homeland. They lost their limbs and compromised their potential.
Building bionic limbs is made more affordable using 3D printers. I want to be able to give those who lost their limbs a second chance and make their whole recovery a bit easier.
How Do You Plan to Payback?
Volunteering influenced my personal growth and my sense of responsibility towards the community. I want to establish a nonprofit for amputee victims of armed conflict. I have three goals:
1- Offer physical and psychological rehabilitation to victims.
2- Provide a volunteering opportunity to members of our community.
3- Integrating persons with disabilities in society.
I am aware of the challenges of displacement, but also value the opportunities that allowed us to grow through challenges. I want volunteering to be a staple of our youth activities.
Volunteer Work/Social Capital
I volunteered with the following local and international NGO's:
SAB , Souriyat Across Borders: providing relief and education services to Syrian and other refugees.
Atlantic Humanitarian Relief , Atlantic Humanitarian Relief: a US-based NGO. I liaised with medical and humanitarian volunteers- both local and international to provide medical assistance to impacted refugee population. I was the head of the Humanitarian Team for their medical missions
Every Child First (ECF), Jordan (2016): I led and organized a team of volunteers in an art therapy program for children with psychosocial issues plus a food aid program.
Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS), Jordan (2017): I assisted in English-to-Arabic translation for humanitarian and medical personnel.
AFR: Advocates For Refugees A humanitarian relief organization from Singapore (2017): I coordinated the distribution of relief items distribution (blankets, supplies) to random refugee camps in Mafraq, Jordan.
At my own initiative, I also organized over 7 campaigns to raise funds for random refugee camps in Jordan. We distributed hygiene kits, firewood, food baskets education kits to residents.
What Have You Done to Improve Yourself? Awards and Achievements
Diploma in industrial automation in 2017
Bachelor’s degree in Computer Applications in 2019.
C++ and Java classes Talal Abou Ghazaleh Institute .
Intermediate English at the British Council.
3D printers workshop: Crown Prince Foundation Tech Workers
Hired by the British Council as a co-facilitator for the Computer Applications degree.
Hired by Mosaik as a coordinator/trainer in their bridge college program .
Junior, Philadelphia University, Mechatronics major.