Voices of Resilience: Dr. Rouba Mhaissen on Refugees’ Experience and the Future with COVID-19

Voices of Resilience: A Conversation with Dr. Rouba Mhaissen

March 2020 – Dr. Rouba Mhaissen is a Syrian-Lebanese economist, activist, community mobiliszer and development practitioner who works on development issues in the MENA region, particularly forced migration and the Syrian refugee crisis.

Rouba is the Founder and Director of Sawa for Development and Aid, a non-profit organization that supports Syrian refugees in Lebanon, and Sawa Foundation UK, which supports forced migrants in Europe and the Middle East. Rouba joined the podcast to discuss how refugees are coping with the COVID-19 pandemic, add perspective on how the stay-at-home-orders and lack of resources are a daily experience for refugees and chat about Rouba’s hopes for the future.

Rouba and Alyse discuss how refugees are impacted by COVID-19, specifically how being a refugee makes the healthcare measures all the more difficult: from stricter curfews to lack of access to resources like soap and water in refugee camps. They also talked about how to stay sane and motivated during these uncertain times, as well as the importance of empathy. If you are interested in donating to Rouba’s non-profit, Sawa for Development and Aid, you can do so here.

Tune into the episode today:


Rouba was honored as a 2019 Global Leadership Award Honoree and was a VVLead Fellow. Learn more about her story with this video from the Global Leadership Awards.