Helping Fadwa’s Family Stay Safe and Warm

Hajati Cash Assistance

Bashar Al-Ja’bari and Marco Carraro
23 February 2022
Fadwa's children
UNICEF/Al-Ja’bari/2021

Fadwa, a mother of three and stepmother of five children, fled Syria seven years ago. Like so many Syrians in Jordan, her journey for refuge began in the desert. “Things weren’t as good there as they are now,” she says.

Fadwa moved to Amman to get married to a man she had known in Syria, who was already established in the capital. Her new husband already had children from his first marriage, his wife sadly died giving birth to their youngest. It was a big undertaking for Fadwa to raise them, and give birth to three more children, without the support of her family who were scattered by conflict to Lebanon, Turkey and different parts of Syria.

Fadwa and her family have been benefitting from UNICEF’s Hajati cash assistance programme for two years now. They discovered that they were eligible to enrol in the programme from a UNICEF-supported Makani centre that her kids attended for learning and non-curricular activities.

Thanks to UNICEF’s Hajati programme, the most vulnerable families are supported with a social safety net, enabling parents to keep their children safe, healthy and warm, send them to school and reduce any reliance on negative coping strategies, such as child labour or early marriage. By prioritizing the poorest and most vulnerable children – irrespective of their nationality or legal status – Hajati provides crucial support and ensures that no child is left behind.

“The cash assistance we receive has alleviated many burdens from us, we are now able to pay for school transportation and we can afford gas for the heater.” Fadwa

UNICEF’s Hajati cash assistance is effective at keeping the most vulnerable children in Jordan in school and preventing drop out, a recent study has shown. The programme supported 23,000 children in the 2021-22 academic year with an unconditional monthly cash assistance of USD 25 per child up to 6 children. A winterization payment also supporting the poorest families during the harsh winter months.

5 of Fadwa’s kids, sitting next to the heater to get some warmth during a cold winter day
UNICEF/Al-Ja’bari/2021

“As the kids are growing up, I have to get them new winter clothing every year. The winter cash assistance I receive is greatly helping me to do so.”

In addition to the cold that winter in Jordan, Fadwa’s house becomes damp during winter which makes things hard for her 5-year-old son who suffers from Laryngomalacia and Asthma.

Saleh, Fadwa’s eldest stepchild, is now 16 years old. “I have been in education in Jordan since I was in kindergarten,” says Saleh.

“The only difficulty I recall facing during my school years was when learning switched to online, we didn’t have good internet connection so I couldn’t follow up with the online learning platform,” explains Saleh, echoing many of the hardships faced by the most vulnerable children during the COVID-19 pandemic when schools were closed for extended periods.

In his free time, Saleh loves playing football with his friends, it’s his favourite thing to do. Saleh also loves being in school. His dream is to finish his education and obtain a certificate to study Programming in university after.

 

With thanks to the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), UNICEF, through the Hajati programme is able to support some of the most vulnerable children in Jordan with a social safety net and a way to stay warm this winter.