Syrian children hope to go to school One Day to better their lives
Mafraq, 14 June 2017 - Watching a group of children playing in a tree with swings and ropes, one could be forgiven for thinking this scene was nothing out of the ordinary. As the children are called by their mother, the playing and the laughing come to a crashing halt. Seven-year-old Syrian refugee Fatimah* runs through a clearing in the trees to the tent that she calls home to get her breakfast. Moments later the climbing and the scrambling continues.
Fatimah and her family fled Dara'a, southern Syria, at the outbreak of violence in 2011 to seek refuge in Irbid, northern Jordan. Her mother, Amira*, says, “It was hard to believe we had ended up in this situation,” and glances at the tent. “We had such a nice house in Syria; we just have to pray it will get better.”
After breakfast, Fatimah, her brothers, and sisters explore and play all day. “I wake up, wash my face and then I go and play. We play a game called “bait beyot”, or we play tag.” But one of the first things she wants to talk about is school. Fatimah desperately wants to go to school so that she can make friends and “learn to write her own name.”
Amira is hopeful that she will find a way for her daughters to have a better future. Her eldest daughter Furat*, 9, has ambitions to become a dentist. “We live in the hope that we will eventually find a better place to live for our children.”
Fatimah’s family have lived in the tent for two years with no bathroom facility or kitchen equipment. The entire family lives on the floor, using cardboard and stones to protect themselves from the heat and the insects. “We put mattresses next to each other, then we cover ourselves before we go to sleep”.
Whilst she loves to play, Fatimah would love to sit in a classroom. Education represents her ambitions, as she would like a route out of poverty and to go back to having a safe and healthy place to live.
“I’d love to go to school so that I can live in a house One Day.”
*All names in this story have been changed to protect the identity of the benificiaries. The pseudonyms have been chosen by the benificiaries themselves.