Can you imagine living with your children in an environment full of crime, lack of freedom, limited food and portable shelters?
Unfortunately over 85 000 refugees fled the war in Syria and are living in inhumane conditions. What was meant to be a temporary infrastructure for many has turned into a permanent community. Although little hope for the future looks unimaginable, walls in Zaatari’s classrooms are lined with pictures and captions: “Help us back home.”
“What’s in my bag,” was an emotional trigger. I sat down with my teenager daughter and asked her, “What would you pack in your back pack?” Mobile phone was the first item to be named, followed by brand label shoes, clothes, a book to read and makeup. No mention of the essentials-food, cooking utensils and water. It was a clear indication that we have no idea.
One in a hundred people have been forced to flee their country due to violence of war. Although it is constantly in the media many people are unaware of why people flee from their countries. The media often misinterprets refugees and create misunderstandings.
The fundamentals of learning in the future is humanitarianism. All children come with their individual, ‘packed suitcase’ and it is our job to unpack and interpret them to cater for their own needs. Love, security, peace and a safe environment is essential before any worthwhile learning takes place.
When considering a new learning space as we move further into this century the wellbeing of children need to be a priority. Children need to feel loved and safe, healthy and happy. We need to keep well connected thinking globally not locally.
As a Syrian refugee mother stated, “The future belongs to girls who are educated.”
Za’atari Refugee Camp is the 2nd largest in the world and home to nearly 80 000 people.