Literacy classes contribute to improving the lives of refugee families in Jordan

Geneva, 12 April 2016 - Besides delivering urgent basic items and rent assistance to vulnerable families in Northern Jordan, ICMC also offers literacy classes to Syrian refugees at its Protection Center in Mafraq.

Literacy classes contribute to refugees' life improvement in JordanAli, a Syrian refugee in Mafraq, reading ICMC's basic literacy workbooks with his children. Photo: ICMC Seham and Ali* fled Homs three years ago with their six children, after the first explosions started ravaging the city. “My wife was pregnant with our seventh child. We wanted our baby to be born somewhere safe. We had no choice but to walk to Jordan,” Ali remembered.

Life has not been easy in Jordan. Ali suffers from chronic migraines as a result of war trauma and stress, and is unable to work. Two of his children, aged 10 to 12, have been sweeping supermarket aisles and unloading trucks for a bit more than 200 USD per month, so as to provide some income for the family.

As this is the family’s only source of income, the enormous deficit of providing for seven children led the family to move around often, sometimes staying with friends or distant relatives while they struggled to pay their rent. However, the frequent moves took a toll on the children, eventually leading the family to secure accommodation and seeking rent assistance from ICMC. “When we first moved into our current apartment, we didn’t have assistance. Our landlord was very understanding, but we didn’t want to keep delaying what was due. ICMC provided us with stability and has given peace to our minds,” Seham commented.

Seham, who used to be illiterate, has been attending adult literacy classes at the ICMC Protection Center. “I can read and write now,” she explained enthusiastically. “And I can teach my children how to read while we are waiting for a place for them in school.”

Seham’s children are not enrolled in formal schooling. However, they have received basic literacy workbooks from Seham’s literacy class. While Seham attends literacy classes, her younger children can play in the Child Friendly Space. “We have made friends with Jordanians and Syrians at the Protection Center. That’s really good”, Ali added.

 

*The names have been changed to protect the identity of the beneficiaries.