Syrian Diaspora Leaders programme

For leaders who want to increase their impact in Syria and the UK – and build bridges between the two.

Common Purpose delivered a third programme for Syrian diaspora leaders in June 2019, to build their capacity to contribute both to Syria and to the diaspora community. It drew on our experience of the programmes delivered in 2017 and 2018 and our work with other diaspora leaders from communities such as Libya, Zimbabwe, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The programme helps participants develop new thinking, skills, connections and practical tools so they can make a greater impact.

Scottish Syrian Association for Integration and Relief (SAFIR), Participant, Syrian Diaspora Leaders Programme 2019

"So many people would be happy about the skills gained in the programme. They are right! I would add that the most valuable and significant thing was creating hope. Without hope no skills and network can be capitalized upon."

Who is it for?

Why take part?

The experience will help participants to:

  • stretch their analytical and creative skills by exposing them to a new approach to innovation
  • develop their Cultural Intelligence, the ability to cross boundaries and thrive in multiple cultures
  • enhance their ability to Lead Beyond Authority – to lead in situations where they have no formal power, key for diaspora leaders
  • build new networks, by giving them access to participants and contributors they might otherwise never meet
  • develop their thinking on possible futures for Syria and grow their capacity to translate that thinking into positive action.
Who takes part?

We invite applications from exceptional leaders from the Syrian diaspora – from those early in their careers, to established leaders. We are seeking a participant group that includes people from different generations. They may have experience of leadership from different walks of life and from any sector.

The challenge

The programme focuses on a challenge: “How can diaspora leaders use their skills, talents and networks to benefit Syria and the diaspora community?”

This challenge will provide the framework for the programme. Over four days participants are guided through a process of creativity and innovation, to explore the challenge from every possible angle – visiting organizations and meeting leaders with knowledge of Syria, development challenges and/or diaspora leadership. 

Participants work up practical ideas in response to the challenge, which they present to a panel of senior leaders at the end of the programme. They then work on their ideas individually and collectively, building long-lasting connections and developing projects that can be prototyped beyond the programme. 

Souriyat Across Borders, Participant, Syrian Diaspora Leaders Programme 2019

"This is the first workshop, of many I have attended, that gave me a huge amount of positive energy, changed my perspective and encouraged me to put new plans in my life. It increased my capability, gave me many new skills and increased the possibility of collective future work in the diaspora."


Syrian Diaspora Leaders Programme | Common Purpose and Penny Appeal 2019


said the connections they have made will be valuable in supporting their activities in their country of heritage and/or in the diaspora community


felt better equipped to have an impact as a leader in the diaspora community


identified specific ways they can work with other members of the Syrian Diaspora group


said they would recommend the programme to another person

Find out more

If you would like to know more about this programme, please contact us

Penny Appeal

Penny Appeal is an international humanitarian and development organisation that provides relief in 30 plus countries as well as a substantive suite of programmes in the UK too. Since founded in 2009, we have transformed lives and empowered communities around the world, helping to break the poverty cycle and build brighter futures. All our projects are carefully constructed and designed to be accessible and effective. They are a blend of emergency support, short term relief and long term sustainable interventions.

Common Purpose 

Common Purpose is a leadership development organization that specializes in cross-boundary leadership. A not-for-profit, we run programmes in over 100 cities worldwide. Founded in 1989, we have over 90,000 alumni globally. Our leadership development programmes inspire and equip people to work across boundaries. This enables them to solve complex problems in organizations and in society.