A life-changing opportunity

Makani centre helps young people reach their full potential

UNICEF
Youth
UNICEF
24 August 2021

By Monique Awad

29 August 2021 – For Dua’a, a 17-year-old girl, participating at a UNICEF-supported Makani Centre changed her life.

Dua’a is a member of the DOM community, a highly vulnerable and amongst the most marginalized groups in Jordan, she resides in the southern part of Jordan’s capital Amman. 

In 2016, and as a result of a family feud, Dua’a dropped out-of-school.  She only completed Grade 6.  Her father Fayez and her mother Karimeh were forced to move the family to another location and did not want to send Dua’a back to school out of fear for her life.

“Two of my uncles were seriously injured.  My uncle Mohammad lost his eye, and my uncle Ali was stabbed in the stomach, and was operated on,” recalls Dua’a with grief.

In 2018, after being out-of-school for over two years, Dua’a enrolled at one of the UNICEF-supported Makani Centres close to her home.

“I convinced my mom and dad and I enrolled in the centre,” says Dua’a, with a smile. 

At the centre, Dua’a participated in a variety of skills’ building training programmes.  She received life skills, digital and financial skills training.

With generous support from the European Union Madad Fund, since last year, UNICEF was able to reach almost 4,000 children and young people, including 1,000 young people from the Dom community through 11 Makani centres. 

“Makani centres equip most vulnerable young people with critical skills such as computer, life skills and entrepreneurship,” says Manuel Rodriguez Pumarol, Chief Social Protection & Policy, UNICEF Jordan. “Through this programme, young people are able to thrive, and contribute to economic development in Jordan.”

A life-changing opportunity

After a few months at the centre, Dua’a was convinced that she needed to complete her education. 

“For the second time, I was able to convince my parents, but this time it was about pursuing my  education,” says Dua’a. 

With the help of the facilitator Isra’a, Du’a enrolled in a non-formal education programme.  She is now in Grade 10.

“The centre really changed my life,” says Dua’a.  “I am not only completing my education, but I developed a stronger personality, and now I am ready to embrace the world.”

“I learnt how to use the computer, how to better communicate with people, and how to resolve conflicts,” says Abed with a smile.  “Now, I no longer bully my peers.”