Friday January 31, 2014

Keeping Syrian children in education – and helping Jordanian families too

In Jordan, over half a million Syrian refugees have sought safety from the bloodshed in their homeland. While a quarter of these live in camps, the remainder have found their own accommodation locally – which has made them more vulnerable.

While life is certainly not easy in under-resourced camps, for families living outside, they face the extra financial burden of meeting their basic needs – buying food and paying monthly rent are two of the biggest concerns.

The Jordanian government has prevented Syrians working, and with life savings quickly running out, families are left strapped for cash. Some have been forced to put their children into underpaid and exploitative child labour just to make ends meet, losing their education and a carefree childhood in one fell swoop.

Islamic Relief is providing a solution to both parents and children. We’re targeting over 3,500 children in Irbid, Jordan, where for every child enrolled in school, we will provide their family with 30 Jordanian dinars. This will not only ensure stable accommodation for the children, as parents will no longer have to worry about rent – it will also stop them being forced to leave school and work to earn money.

The project will receive £2 million support from the UK’s Department for International Development, which has dubbed Syrian children a “lost generation”. We hope to bring normality and stability back to their lives, helping them regain the normal childhoods they should have enjoyed.

As well as Syrian families, we’re also supporting Jordanian children. Many Jordanian families lived in poverty even before the Syrian crisis – but now, with the influx of refugees, resources are stretched and they too are struggling. We hope and pray that this project will ease the worries and burdens of both host and refugee communities.

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