The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has set up schools for Syrian children living in the Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan.
The Zaatari Refugee Camp in the north of Jordan, close to the border with Syria, is known to be the largest Syrian refugee camp in the world, holding around 80,000 Syrians. A large proportion of these refugees constitute children, who are not willing to miss their years of schooling despite the difficult circumstances that they find themselves in. UNICEF has been catering for their educational needs now for a number of years.
“I came to Zaatari camp in 2013. I started my studies at Ahl al-Bayt University in 2014 and I got a scholarship and completed my education. I studied at the University of Damascus – Daraa branch for 3 years. I completed two years at Ahl al-Bayt University and graduated as an education teacher, the same major I studied at the beginning. My graduation represents a new situation inside the camp, being the first Syrian youth in Zaatari camp to graduate from Jordanian universities”, said Muhammad al-Diri, a Master’s student.
There are 32 schools and 58 educational centres currently active in providing education to children in the Zaatari Camp. These centres are supported by the USA, Canada and countries in the EU.
“The education here is excellent and the teaching staff are good. As for students, it depends on the parents. Sometimes there is no family provider and parents have to send their children to work to have a livelihood”, noted Leyla who lives in the camp.
A number of stories have come out of the Zaatari Camp in which refugees thank the work of the educational centres. In this video report, Dalal Izza, a Syrian refugee in the Zaatari Refugee camp in Jordan, excels in her high school education despite the challenges that her and her family face there.
The children of the Zaatari Camp are not only trained academically, but are given opportunities to excel in sports. For instance, last year, as part of the UN’s International Day for Sport and Development, Syrian girls in the Zaatari Refugee camp in Jordan were offered a variety of sports workshops in an attempt to empower the girls, raise awareness on the importance of recycling and promote peace through sports.