In a refugee camp, education is the only hope
ZA’ATARI, Jordan, 15 July 2015 – Sporting a bright yellow jersey and a wide grin, Ahmed* greets us at the football field outside the drop-in centre in Za’atari camp. He has just scored a goal and his team is ecstatic.
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Orlando Bloom visits Syrian children in Jordan
IRBID/ZA’ATARI, Jordan, 16 April 2014 – In a run-down washroom between two apartment blocks in Jordan’s northern city of Irbid, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Orlando Bloom chatted with a Syrian family. They fled Aleppo two years ago for safety in Jordan. But since then, they’ve been living a precarious life in a basic accommodation.
In Jordan’s Za’atari refugee camp, a boy finds solace in caring for birds
ZA’ATARI REFUGEE CAMP, Jordan, 17 December 2013 – Some uninformed adults, this author included, might not know that doves and pigeons belong to the same species. But one young boy in Jordan’s sprawling Za’atari refugee camp will happily tell you that – and so much more.
Field diary: A visit to Jordan’s borderlands
IRBID, Jordan, 22 November 2013 – It’s olive season in Jordan. Between rows of trees, on the outskirts of the north-western town of Irbid, children help their parents collect this year’s crop.
In Jordan, polio vaccination campaign focuses on Syrian refugee children
ZA’ATARI CAMP, Jordan, 5 November 2013 – The smell of coffee breaks the stale, dusty Za’atari air. Inside a caravan home, 19-year-old Hana'a is cooking up a strong Arabic brew. Her 18-month-old daughter, Ayah, is playing ball with her father.
Support for Syrian children who arrive at Za'atari refugee camp, Jordan - alone
ZA’ATARI REFUGEE CAMP, Jordan, 20 September 2013 – At a protection centre for Syrian children who arrive at Za’atari refugee camp by themselves, 12-year-old Ahmad* smiles, rubs his swollen eyes.
Students promote learning in Za'atari Camp, Jordan
ZA’ATARI CAMP, Jordan, 12 September 2013 – A group of young girls are striding out of the school gates with a purpose. The new school year is starting, and they’re on a mission to get their peers back to school.
One family's struggle, echoing across a region
IRBID, Jordan, 21 August 2013 – Every day is a struggle to survive for Noura and Muhammed and their six children, refugees of the continuing violence in the Syrian Arab Republic. None of their children have been attending school, and their 15-year-old son goes to work to help support the family.
How do you provide water and sanitation to 50,000 people in the middle of the desert?
AZRAQ, Jordan, 19 July 2013 – Kitka Goyol stands at the top of a small hill overlooking a vast expanse of inhospitable desert. The barren land is dotted with diggers and cranes at work. From this distance, they look like small toys. This place will be the Azraq refugee camp.
Embracing the everyday, dreaming of the future
ZA’ATARI CAMP, Jordan, 3 July 2013 – As the sun rises upon the vast desert surrounding Za’atari camp, people wake to another intensely hot summer day. It is the second-largest refugee camp in the world, and for the 120,000 Syrians living here, it is a place to call home – at least for now.
Campaign to prevent disease as temperatures rise at Za’atari refugee camp, Jordan
AMMAN, Jordan, 24 June 2013 – The sweat running down Mohamed’s face reflects the intense summer sun that has descended on Jordan’s vast Za’atari refugee camp.
In Jordan, refugee children with disabilities are among the most vulnerable
AMMAN, Jordan 31 May 2013 – When Abdullatif’s neighbour was killed, and his own house destroyed and farm animals lost, the decision was made simple. He had to flee the conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic to save his family. But the journey and challenges that lay ahead were anything but easy, especially with two children with disabilities.
Syrian children with disabilities struggle with life in a refugee camp
ZA’ATARI, Jordan, 29 May 2013 – Rania dreams of one day becoming a teacher. Every morning, her mother and brother wake up at dawn to help her get to school. Although it’s only a short walk, Rania is unable to make it on her own. White gravel surrounds the tents and caravans in the camp where they live, and Rania needs to be carried to the main road where her wheelchair will work.
Schools across Jordan provide hope for Syrian refugee children
IRBID, Jordan, 2 May 2013 – Eleven-year-old Hanin proudly arranges her artwork on the living room floor. Her drawings of brightly coloured flowers reflect happier times.
In Jordan, Za'atari refugee camp hosts mass immunization campaign
ZA’ATARI, Jordan, 25 April 2013 – As the sun rises over Za’atari refugee camp, gusts of wind blow sand high into the air. Families begin to emerge from between rows of tents that line the camp.
People of Cyprus bring relief - and fun - to Za'atari refugee camp, Jordan
ZA’ATARI, Jordan, 22 April 2013 – There’s excitement in the air – hundreds of children are waiting for the official opening of Za’atari refugee camp’s fifth playground.
For young Syrian refugees in Jordan, photography is a record - and an outlet
ZA’ATARI, Jordan, 18 April 2013 – At a water tank on the outskirts of Za’atari refugee camp, a couple of boys fill jerrycans with water. Crouching at their side with camera in hand is Amjad Belini. The 17-year-old is one of a group of boys and girls taking part in a three-month photography project managed by Save the Children in partnership with UNICEF.
In Jordan, a thirteen-year-old Syrian refugee talks about how his thoughts have never left home
ZA’ATARI, Jordan, 15 March 2013 – Bashir and his family fled their home in Deraa, southern Syrian Arab Republic, seven months ago. But, ever since that day, when the shelling became too intense to stay, the 13-year-old’s thoughts have never left his hometown.
Mothers of Za'atari camp, Jordan
ZA’ATARI, Jordan, 28 February 2013 – Every day, an average of eight children are born as refugees in Za’atari, the largest camp of the Syrian crisis, located approximately 12 km from the border. It has become home to tens of thousands of Syrians.
After winter break and heavy rains, back to school at Za’atari refugee camp, Jordan
ZA’ATARI, Jordan, 27 February 2013 – It’s back to school for thousands of Syrian children at Za’atari refugee camp in northern Jordan.
Protecting separated and unaccompanied Syrian refugee children in Jordan
ZA’ATARI, Jordan, 19 February 2013 – As the Syrian conflict continues unabated, with 1,850 people crossing into Jordan every day, a small but regular flow of refugees are unaccompanied and separated children.
UNICEF's emergency officer, Konady Kone, assesses the conditions in Jordan's Za'atari refugee camp
ZA’ATARI, Jordan, 31 January 2013 – Every day is different for Konady Kone, who is UNICEF’s man on the ground at Za’atari, a sprawling refugee camp in the northern Jordanian desert, near the Syrian border.
Dire situation for children in the Syrian Arab Republic - even where there is no fighting
AMMAN, Jordan, 25 January 2013 – We spoke with UNICEF Regional Emergency Adviser Bastien Vigneau during his mission to Tartous, a key port city in the Syrian Arab Republic, on the Mediterranean Sea.
In Za'atari refugee camp in Jordan, working with children who have lived through war
AMMAN, Jordan, 7 January 2013 - Jane MacPhail shows me a mountain of drawings done by Syrian refugee children at the camp. We go through them together, and I notice that they are mostly happy images with no guns, tanks or blood.
In Jordan, a campaign to vaccinate against polio and measles reaches 132,000 children
AMMAN, Jordan, 2 January 2013 – According to the Ministry of Health, more than 132,000 children have been vaccinated against measles and polio in northern Jordan as part of a joint UNICEF and Ministry of Health vaccination campaign.
In Jordan, young Syrian refugees meet to discuss their concerns and receive guidance and support
AMMAN, Jordan, 13 December 2012 - Rahaf, 19, was studying to be a doctor in the Syrian Arab Republic before she fled to Jordan one month ago. She and her family were reluctant to leave their home in Dera’a until a bomb blast killed her two sisters and injured her oldest brother. “After that, my parents saw there was nothing to do but get away,” she says.
For the first time in Jordan, young children who cannot be cared for by their biological parents are placed with foster families, not institutions
ZARQA, 26 November 2012 – Like any new mother, Amra* is besotted with her baby girl. “When I put her to sleep beside me, I gaze at her and admire her,” she says.
In Jordan, Syrian refugee children learn how to recover from a violent past
MAFRAQ, Jordan, 7 November 2012 - When Syrian refugee children show UNICEF child protection worker Jane MacPhail pictures they have drawn of revenge and violence, she knows what to say.
At Za'atari refugee camp in Jordan, UNICEF supports Syrian refugee families
AMMAN, Jordan, 7 November 2012 - As the canvas roof of her family’s tent flaps in the wind, Fatma* holds her son close, gently brushing dust from his face.
At Za'atari refugee camp in Jordan, as a million litres of clean water arrive each day, focus turns to conservation and future supply of water
AMMAN, Jordan, 22 October 2012 – The Za’atari refugee camp in northern Jordan is a safe haven for almost 30,000 refugees who have fled conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic. Hundreds of people arrive daily.
In Jordan, huge water delivery and testing operation meets the life-saving water and sanitation needs of Syrian refugees
MAFRAQ, Jordan, 10 October 2012 - Massive water trucks trundle slowly through Za’atari refugee camp, filling the tanks that supply drinking taps and latrine and shower blocks.
In Jordan, Syrian refugee children continue education as first school opens at Za’atari refugee camp
MAFRAQ, Jordan, 8 October 2012 – “I’m very happy that school has started,” says Tabark, 12, who is in her fifth day of class at Za’atari refugee camp’s new emergency school. “I enjoy Arabic and writing the most. I would like to be an Arabic teacher.”
As population in a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan soars, focus is on needs of children
AMMAN, Jordan, 11 September 2012 - Maradi pushes her 2 1/2-year-old son Safwan on a swing while holding her 4-month-old daughter Sofian. Safwan’s twin brother Omran is back in their tent with Maradi’s husband.
Syrian refugees struggle to adapt to new surroundings in Za’atari camp
ZA'ATARI, Jordan, 17 August - The number of Syrian refugees crossing to Jordan is rising. To date, more than 7,000 people live in the tented Za’atari camp in Mafraq, north of Jordan. They are battered with frequent sand storms, hot weather and lack of natural shade.
Battling dust storms and the burning desert sun to meet the most basic need of the displaced - water
Za’atari, Jordan, August 17, 2012 - Eleven year old Abdullah stares silently at his dust covered toes under the scorching afternoon sun in Jordan’s Za’atari refugee camp.
UNICEF and partners continue to provide humanitarian assistance for Syrian children and families in Jordan
AMMAN, Jordan, 15 August 2012 – Umm Ghassan sat inside her tent in Za’atari camp, holding her two-year-old grandchild. She was waiting for the child’s siblings and mother, who had gone to fetch the water necessary to meet the family’s drinking and washing needs.
Education of water rationing for Syrian refugees in Jordan
RAMTHA, Jordan, 5 August 2012 - As Syrians pour into Jordan, work is underway not only to provide essential safe water and sanitation, but to make sure the water lasts. Jordan is the fourth most water scarce country in the world and the influx of people is putting a strain on an already limited water supply.
Aid workers in Jordan race to meet the needs of Syrian refugee families
AL MAFRAQ, Jordan, 9 July 2012 – Funnels of dust race like miniature tornadoes at this former airfield near the town of Al Mafraq, in Jordan’s north.
Summer camps help Syrian refugee children recovery, regain missed education
AMMAN, Jordan, 5 July 2012 – At a large primary school on the outskirts of the capital Amman, 11-year-old Basma* and her 7-year-old sister are among around 180 children, most of them Syrian refugees, taking part in a summer camp.
In Jordan, Syrian children are on the road to recovery after fleeing ongoing violence in their country
RAMTHA, Jordan, 19 June 2012 – Reem* and her six children fled their home in southern Syria in February after her husband Abood* was abducted by armed men. The children were between ages 5 and 18. “The children were scared and insecure when we first came to Jordan,” Reem said. “When they saw cars [like the one that took their father], they would start screaming.”
In Jordan, Syrian refugee children are learning to cope with the violence they’ve witnessed
MAFRAQ/AMMAN, Jordan, 4 June 2012 – On their way to school in Homs last year, 9-year-old twins Seema* and Nour* saw dead bodies in the street.
In Jordan, UNICEF and partners offer services to help refugee children recover from conflict in Syria
MA’AN, Jordan, 8 March 2012 – On a cold February day, Syrian refugee children and their parents gathered at the Jordan Hashemite Fund for Human Development (JOHUD) Centre, a UNICEF partner, in the southern Jordanian town of Ma’an.
Out of sight, out of reach
AMMAN, Jordan, 23 February 2012 – Half the world’s population now lives in cities. Throughout history, urban life, so concentrated with humanity, has been a catalyst for trade, ideas and opportunities, making cities engines of economic growth. Today, living in a city is widely regarded as the best way to find prosperity and escape poverty. Yet hidden inside cities, wrapped in a cloak of statistics, are millions of children struggling to survive.
Displaced Syrian children in Jordan show signs of distress
RAMTHA, Jordan, 23 December 2011 – As I pull out my camera, Salwa looks at me and blurts out, “No, no pictures, please. Otherwise the police will slaughter us.” She is 5 years old.
Preparedness programme helps young people to build a better future in Jordan
AMMAN, Jordan, 11 August 2011 - “I want to be a professional photographer and I will get there,” said Fadi Salameh, when asked about his dream for the future.
Non-formal education in the Middle East: Giving adolescents a second chance
AMMAN, Jordan, 24 February 2011—In May 2000, two 14-year-old Jordanian boys asked for my help in finding them vocational training. They had dropped out of school in third grade, and the skills they had learned in their five years on the streets would not help them build a promising future. The short training courses they were eligible for would not provide the diploma a good job required, and they needed formal tenth-grade certification to enroll in diploma-level vocational courses.
UNICEF promotes Regional Media Award 2010 in the Middle East and North Africa
AMMAN, Jordan, 10 March 2010 – UNICEF’s Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) launched a media campaign last month to promote its Regional Media Award, an annual prize that encourages better representation of children in the media.
Middle Eastern and North African celebrities and children celebrate child rights
AMMAN, Jordan, 25 November 2009 – It started as a wild idea: to bring stars from across the Middle East and North Africa to deliver one message on child rights – a resoundingly positive call from this region, so often in the news for the wrong reasons.
Two UNICEF advocates, Queen Rania and Mia Farrow, meet in Jordan
AMMAN, Jordan, 14 October 2009 – Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan, UNICEF’s Eminent Advocate for Children, met today with internationally acclaimed actress and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow.
H.M. Queen Rania of Jordan joins UNICEF in congratulating young women of Harlem
NEW YORK, USA, 22 September 2009 – The Young Women’s Leadership School of East Harlem serves students from minority and low-income families. It is a pioneer in all-girl public education, and a model of success.
Youth leaders in Soweto greet Queen Rania of Jordan
SOWETO, South Africa, 30 March 2009 – UNICEF’s Eminent Advocate for Children, Her Majesty Queen Rania al Abdullah of Jordan, recently spent time with members of the GEM/BEM club at the Phefeni Senior Secondary school in South Africa’s sprawling Soweto township.
Early childhood development report showcases Jordan's success
AMMAN, Jordan, 20 March 2009 – UNICEF this week presented the findings of a new report showcasing Jordan's successes in early childhood development (ECD). 'The Jordanian National Plan of Action for Children' was launched on 16 March in the presence of the Minister of Education, as well as teachers, specialists and parents involved in giving children a good start to life.
Executive Director starts Middle East visit with tour of school projects in Jordan
NEW YORK, USA, 4 March 2009 – UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman has just concluded a two-day mission to Jordan as part of a Middle East trip that includes planned visits to Israel and to the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
In Amman, UNICEF regional media awards honour coverage of adolescents
AMMAN, Jordan, 2 March 2009 – The first UNICEF Regional Awards for Media on Child Rights were handed out last week at an official ceremony in Amman, under the patronage of Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah, UNICEF’s Eminent Advocate for children.
UNICEF’s Eminent Advocate, Queen Rania, speaks out on Gaza crisis
AMMAN, Jordan, 5 January 2009 – At a UNICEF-organized press conference here this morning, Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah made an urgent plea on behalf of all the civilians living in Gaza – especially children – for a “humanitarian ceasefire” and for the international community to do all it can to help alleviate the suffering.
Young Iraqi filmmaker wins 'OneMinutesJr.' Award
AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, 11 December 2008 – Mohammed Majid al-Ghazali, age 15, is an Iraqi currently living in Jordan. He just won the 2008 'OneMinutesJr.' award. His winning film, Accident, was produced during a UNICEF 'OneMinutesJr.' workshop in Amman, Jordan, where youth were asked to make films that reflected the rights from the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
UNICEF Eminent Advocate for Children, Queen Rania of Jordan, speaks out on abuse
AMMAN, Jordan, 19 November 2008 – Abuse against children takes many forms – violence inflicted upon them or around them; exploitation in factories and fields; trafficking for labour, prostitution, and war; forced marriage and childbearing for little girls who are still just children themselves.
On visit to Argentina, Queen Rania of Jordan promotes quality education
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina, 23 October 2008 - Children at a UNICEF-supported school in Argentina received a royal visitor this week, when Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan dropped by.
Adolescent-friendly space empowers young Palestinian refugees
ZARQA, Jordan, 7 July 2008 – Zarqa camp is the oldest Palestinian refugee camp in Jordan. Families live in tiny brick houses constructed with asbestos roofing and often suffer from overcrowding and extreme poverty. Young people in the camp have little opportunity for safe play and interaction with their peers.
Crushed childhoods, cruel choices in Gaza
AMMAN, Jordan, 8 April 2008 – Ayman is a soft-spoken 14-year-old boy from Jabalia City, Gaza. His family is poor, as his father has been unemployed since March 2006. Ayman’s parents have already sold almost all their furniture to pay for food and schooling for their children. Recently, after collecting a governmental food handout, Ayman’s father had to sell the milk to get the money for the journey back home.
Displaced Iraqi children heading back to school in Jordan
AMMAN, Jordan, 10 September 2007 – The Ikzaz family has been living in Jordan since 2004, when they fled Iraq as a result of ongoing violence there. As refugees, they are sustained only by the goodwill of their neighbour, Um Jum’a. Without her help, the Ikzaz family would have no food, clothes or shelter.
Courses on offer at community centre empower Palestinian women in Jordan
AQABA, Jordan, 20 August 2007 – Um Tamer, 32, lives in the Shallah district of Aqaba, which is home to some 6,000 Palestinian refugees. A mother of six, she used to suffer from severe depression. That began to change four years ago, when volunteers from the Community Centre for Social Development came knocking at her door.
UNICEF-supported centre builds leadership skills for Jordanian girls
AQABA, Jordan, 13 July 2007 – “I never dared to stand up and speak out, not even to my father,” recalls Wala, 16. “Now I am very happy. I found a place where people understand me and I understand them.”
Queen Rania, Eminent Advocate for Children, visits child health centre in Morocco
FEZ, Morocco, 2 June, 2007 – On the second day of her official trip to the Kingdom of Morocco, Her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan, UNICEF’s Eminent Advocate for Children, took time out to visit the Doukara Health Centre in the heart of one of the country’s most underprivileged neighbourhoods.
Queen Rania, Eminent Advocate for Children, shares Morocco’s successes
FEZ, Morocco, 1 June 2007 – Morocco is committed to the achievement of quality education, protection and a decent life for its children. During an official visit to the Kingdom, Her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan today witnessed examples of innovative projects being implemented here.
Workshop provides new tools to Jordan’s budding journalists
AMMAN, Jordan, 31 May 2007 – Hala, 13, is a student in Grade 8 at a school in Amman. She is also a budding television journalist with significant experience for someone her age.
Queen Rania brings passion and experience to new role as Eminent Advocate for Children
NEW YORK, USA, 26 January 2007 – During the Symposium on Child Survival, a gathering of world leaders at UNICEF headquarters last September, Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan was adamant in her insistence that the international community can – and must – do better for its most vulnerable children.
Workshops help Palestinian women take the lead in a refugee camp
MADABA CAMP, Jordan, 27 November 2006 – Sitting around a sunny classroom in the pre-school at Madaba Refugee Camp, 27 km west of Amman, the Jordanian capital, 65 children sing nursery rhymes, cheerfully clap their hands and stomp their feet.
New Delhi alternative learning centre gets a visit from Queen Rania of Jordan
NEW DELHI, India, 13 March, 2006 – Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan visited children at the Ritinjali Learning Centre in South Delhi on Friday, the first day of her two-day trip to India. Ritinjali is one of over 3,000 alternative schools in India dedicated to teaching out-of-school children while reintegrating them into the formal education system.
Serious fun at camps for girls
PETRA, Jordan, 30 September 2004 – In 2002, UNICEF conducted a national survey among youth in Jordan. The result is Jordanian youth: Their lives and their views, an in-depth report detailing progress and issues for youth in Jordan.
Beauty salons and community development mix well in Aqaba, Jordan
AQABA, 25 August 2004 – She hears it all the time even from people she’s just met: “You should run for office,” people tell Nayfeh when they meet her in the streets of Shalaleh, a poor area of Jordan’s only port, Aqaba.
Jordan’s police are child-friendly
AMMAN, 6 August 2004 – The sign on the brand-new police office here in Jordan’s capital reads ‘Public Security Directorate’ – not a phrase which most people would normally associate with child rights. And yet the ‘Family Protection Department’ (FPD) of the police deals with exactly that.
Jordan’s mosques help fathers become better parents
AMMAN, Jordan, 23 July 2004 – At first the gathering looks very ordinary: Just some Jordanian men and their sons, sitting, talking and writing. When told to do so by the bearded facilitator, the workshop participants quickly jot down some ideas: “It is important to give the baby a good name.” “We must provide the best health care.”