Syrian Diaspora Leaders Programme

For leaders who want to increase their impact within the Syrian community in the UK and contribute to building a better future for Syria.

We are running our fourth Syrian Diaspora Leaders Programme for people who want to build their capacity to contribute both to Syria and to the diaspora community in the UK. Funded by Islamic Relief, it aims to inspire new ideas and equip the participants with the connections and tools to make a greater impact. 

After the programme participants will join a dynamic group of alumni from many different sectors and backgrounds.

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 five days participants are guided through a process of creativity and innovation, to explore the challenge from every possible angle – hearing from 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 in the 'real world' beyond the programme.

Following the five day programme we will run an online event to bring together and connect the alumni of all four Syrian Diaspora Leaders programmes.

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."



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


Welcome webinar: 09 June 2021

Programme: 16–18 and 21–22 June 2021

Alumni Connect event: 22 July 2021

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

Where? Online. All sessions are on Zoom.

How do I Apply? Please click the Apply button. The application deadline is 9am BST, 24 May 2021. 

What will it cost? There is no cost to the participants to take part, this programme is funded by Islamic Relief Worldwide.

Islamic Relief is a faith-inspired, development and humanitarian agency working to transform and save the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in nearly 40 countries. Islamic Relief assists people according to need and does not discriminate in any way.

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 110,000 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.