[12Mar2015] ‘Makani’ (My Space) initiative to expand learning opportunities for vulnerable children in Jordan
ZARQA, Jordan, 12 March 2015 - UNICEF is scaling up its efforts to reach out of school children in Jordan through a new innovative approach. The ‘Makani’ (My Space) initiative is a holistic programme that provides alternative education, psychosocial support and life skills under one roof.
Four years since the outbreak of war in Syria, there are more than 620,000 Syrians living as refugees in Jordan. Half that number are children, and of those more than 60,000 are not participating in organized learning.
The ‘Makani’ initiative aims to reach 90,000 boys and girls in Jordan who are excluded from any form of education and are exposed to high risks of child labour, exploitation and early marriage.
From Irbid to Zarqa and Amman to Ma’an, the ‘Makani’ approach will support vulnerable children, aged 6 to 18, across the country.
“Building on already existing community networks will help us to reach the most vulnerable children and to provide them with opportunities for self-development,” said Robert Jenkins, UNICEF Jordan Representative. “Only through learning can children reach their full potential and play a positive and active role in society,” Jenkins added.
The ‘Makani’ initiative is being rolled out at 200 centres nationwide in collaboration with NGO partners.
For example, at the Family and Guidance Awareness Center in Zarqa, some 80 children attend activities every day.
Classes include informal education, art and drama. Life-skills sessions also target young adolescents who are entering their formative years and need more support. Building self-confidence, identity and creative thinking can help empower adolescents and youth to play their role in constructive social change and social cohesion.
“All children in Jordan have hopes and dreams for their future. It’s our collective responsibility to best support them to realize their ambitions,” said Jenkins.
Activities under the ‘Makani’ programme are currently funded by Canada, European Union, Germany, Korea (KOICA), Netherlands and UKAid.
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