SCN enrolled five more women in its highly successful Learn To Drive program in July 2019.
To date, SCN has helped 24 women from a number of countries, including Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan, get their driving license.
With more than 75% of passing rate, this unique program helps not only refugee women but entire communities. Women who walked miles to work each day or took long trips on public transportation in order to transport sick or disabled family members to doctors appointments have had an incredible weight lifted off their shoulders. Husbands don’t have to miss work to pick up children from school, and formerly home-bound women can visit friends, manage errands, and have the freedom they deserve.
Although having a driver’s license and learning how to drive might be an easy, normal process for a lot of people living in the United States, it is not the case for most refugee women, many of whom came from war zones or spent most of their lives as homemakers. Never having driven before, losing a loved one, dealing with the language barrier, and trying to adjust to life in America make obtaining a license very hard to achieve.
“Women at the Wheel provides culturally sensitive training that provides the support refugee women need to obtain their license,” says Program Director Heba Hanna. “Women who never dreamed they’d be able to drive have seen their lives and the lives of their families transformed.”
Syrian Community Network provides participants with 15 paid hours of behind the wheel training with licensed instructors. The program runs in monthly cohorts, with up to eight women. Participants are either previous clients of the organization, or are referred to the program by other organizations or individuals. The one and only condition to sign up for the program is to have an active non-expired driving permit.
Currently, more than 75 women have signed up for the program. SCN is proud to make a difference in the lives of women refugees and their families — one license at a time.