David E. Greer Scholarship: A Legacy to Enrich Lives

By Keely Jahns

Published On March 24, 2022

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The General David E. Greer Scholarship Fund has been established in memory of the organization’s former Executive Director, Brigadier General David Greer who lost his life in a tragic accident in 2020.

“David had a deep affection for the people of Iraq”, says his wife and current serving Executive Director of American FRRME, Susan Greer. “Long after his retirement from the armed forces, David continued to help Iraqis rebuild their lives.” 

A life-long student, much of General Greer’s efforts were centered around providing education to vulnerable children. During his time with American FRRME, he advocated for funding for the education of Iraqi refugee children in Jordan and helped establish a school in Kurdistan for Yazidi girls.

“There is a critical lack of access to education for refugees around the world,” says Susan, “and this is no different in Jordan where we are working with thousands of refugees who fled Iraq when ISIS swept through.” 

According to a 2019 report by the UN Refugee Agency, out of 7.2 million refugee children around the world, only 3.7 million have the opportunity to attend school. Globally, 91% of children attend elementary (primary) school, whereas only 63% of refugee children have this opportunity. 

Susan continues, “The lack of school is felt keenly by the refugees we help. They come from a culture that prizes education, and disruption to their education as a result of war, displacement, trauma, persecution and poverty is having a devastating impact on their lives and their futures.”

Refugees are not permitted to work in Jordan, so with little or no income, private education is out of reach for the majority of these Iraqi families.

Many children see little hope for their future. They see their parents forced to remain at home in poverty rather than earning a living. They understand all too well the implications of not getting an education, and, without an education, their dream of a better future is fading fast.

The General David E. Greer Scholarship Fund and the education programs at our Olive Tree Center in Madaba, Jordan are crucial to the future of the next generation of Iraqis.

As these young people get older, the barriers that prevent them from accessing learning become harder to overcome and it is common for youth to drop out of primary and secondary school for reasons of cost or a need to support their families. Continuing past the 8th grade is one of the deciding factors in whether a child finishes their education at all.

“One of David’s greatest goals,” says Susan, “was to help children in our programs to finish the eighth grade.”

The children and young people supported by our Olive Tree Center in Madaba, Jordan are part of many programs aimed at providing hope, help, and healing for the intense trauma that many Iraqis experienced as they fled their homes at a young age. 

“Healing after trauma is a complex process, and one of the most critical pieces of the puzzle is providing young people with educational opportunities that will allow them to advance in life,” says Susan. “Through the General David E. Greer Scholarship Fund, we hope to keep these vulnerable students in school and provide an opportunity for a successful future.” 

American Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East (American FRRME) is a US-based Christian charity that aims to bring hope, help, and healing in the Middle East, assisting Iraqi Christian refugees and other religious minorities.

American FRRME’s work is focused on the Iraqi people, those displaced in Iraq as a result of war and ISIS, impoverished Iraqis in Baghdad, those that remained or returned to their destroyed town on the Nineveh Plain in Kurdistan, and those that fled Iraq and live as refugees in Jordan.

Working in partnership with churches in Iraq and Jordan, American FRRME is on the ground, providing food, clothing, shelter, education and more. In 2019 we established the Olive Tree Center in Madaba, Jordan. The center provides a safe and accessible place for Iraqi refugees to gather together and celebrate their culture together. Crucially, the center provides education and therapeutic activities including English classes, sewing, art and music, along with a mosaic and wood workshop and fresh produce garden.

Brigadier General David Greer dedicated his life to helping those in need. He was a decorated member of the Army National Guard who proudly accepted the task of rebuilding lives in Iraq, even well into his retirement from the armed forces. It was there that he saw the need of the people, particularly persecuted Christians, and helped to establish programs that would improve their lives.

While in Baghdad, he established a Boy Scout Troop, and assisted St. George’s Anglican Church in obtaining reconstruction grants through the US State Department. He helped the church construct a Kindergarten with clean, safe restrooms – something that is not always guaranteed in schools across the Middle East and the developing world.

A life-long student, much of General Greer’s efforts were centered around providing education to vulnerable children. As a member of philanthropic organizations, he supported scholarships, a large number of them through his alma mater, the University of Tennessee. As Executive Director of American FRRME, he advocated for and obtained funding education for the refugee children in Jordan, as well as helped establish a school in Kurdistan for Yazidi girls. 

General Greer sadly passed away in 2020 and the General David E Greer Scholarship Fund has been established in his memory.