Sawsan Samara

Middle East Regional Representative/Malala Fund

Sawsan Samara

Middle East Regional Representative/Malala Fund


As Middle East Regional Representative, Sawsan plays a central role in advancing the Fund’s work in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey.

Sawsan has 12 years of experience in the development sector, with a focus on gender issues and the Syrian refugee crisis. Recently she worked with the Syrian refugee crisis in Lebanon, Jordan and Greece respectively advocating for protection issues and refugee rights. Throughout her career, she has worked with various international organizations and development agencies, including USAID programs, Office of Transition Initiative (OTI) and Near East Foundation – emphasizing youth as an instrumental group. Her work has included grant making for community development, education, gender equality programmes, and youth empowerment. She headed regional offices in both Jordan and the occupied Palestinian territories for international NGOs and worked on two advocacy campaigns in Jordan: Women’s Nationality Rights and Children Deprived of Family Ties ensuring the protection of youth’s right and future.

Her academic qualifications include: an MSc in Social Anthropology from Oxford University (2012), BA in Communications and Computer Science (2004), and certificates in International Human Rights Law (2014), as well as Advocacy (2015).



Malala Fund wants to see a world where every girl can complete 12 years of free, safe, quality education.  Hence we advocate — at local, national and international levels — for resources and policy changes needed to ensure all girls complete 12 years of school, and specifically secondary education.  We invest in developing country education leaders and organizations through the Gulmakai Network Program. We amplify girls’ voices through the Girls Advocates Program as we believe adolescent girls should speak for themselves to leaders.

We believe education activists like Malala and Ziauddin present the strongest challenge to systems, policies and priorities that keep girls out of school. Working with developing country advocates and educators under the Gulmakai Network, Malala Fund is accelerating progress towards girls’ secondary education globally.

The Gulmakai Network fosters a global network of education activists – or “Champions”– who can help raise the profile of girls’ education nationally and globally and lead a wider global movement for girls’ education. It does this by awarding grants to organizations led by girls’ education champions in support of work to increase pressure on government to deliver on its responsibilities for the provision of education for all girls. This funding includes efforts to improve the local, provincial, and national policy environment for girls’ education, and advocacy to scale up promising girls’ education project models to reach more beneficiaries.

This session will serve to outline the different approaches Malala Fund is using, harnessing innovation, to ensure all girls access education especially secondary education, to guarantee the future of the generation to come.





All session by Sawsan Samara

Panel III

14:30 - 16:00