Returning to the Syrian Refugee Camp Zaatari, Jordan, October 2015

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IMG_7666 Panorama1-2-2

“Books Take Us To A Better Future.”


 

Last year, in February 2014, we had worked inside the Syrian refugee camp Zaatari in the North of Jordan for the first time. Back then 80.000 people had lived there then, and the same number of displaced people still live there today, according to an aid-worker we talked to on our visit to the camp this Monday. 50% of all inhabitants of this camp are under the age of 17, so the camp should be full of schools. There are some, but the schools they built hold classes of 100 students each, so, obviously teachers are faced with huge challenges. Luckily there are a number of foundations offering different after-school-activities in the confined areas of the UNHCR´s child-friendly spaces. The space we worked in this week, was run by the organization WARCHILD and I.R.D., supported by UNESCO-EU and UNHCR. They allowed us to paint with the kids on three of their caravans inside their center, and as usual we had so many excited little helpers that we could have painted at least 10 murals with them. In those moments, you wished there was more time to paint and also time to just hang out with the kids, get to know them, watch them play. We could at least take a peek into their gym-class, and it was so wonderful to see the little girls hop around freely, or see the boys follow their karate-instructions like real pros.
Too bad we could only stay for a few hours, but we thank WARCHILD anyway for this opportunity, and, of course, aptART, for arranging this for us. It was interesting to see the adjustments made to the camp. We saw little gardens set up in front of containers and saw that there were bicycles everywhere. (Thanks to a Dutch NGO. Brilliant idea!) We did get to “pimp” one of the kids bikes, at least. We would have loved to stay longer, paint more, and visit our Syrian friends who we worked with last year. But maybe we will meet again somewhere outside the camp in a world without fences. Because, even though there are so many smiling faces, nobody can ever forget that this is a camp for people displaced by a terrible war that is getting more complex every day. There should not be refugee camps. There should be peace.


© Samantha Robison

© Samantha Robison

© Falk Lehmann

© Samantha Robison

© Falk Lehmann

© Samantha Robison

© Samantha Robison

© Samantha Robison

© Samantha Robison

© Samantha Robison

© Samantha Robison

© Samantha Robison

© Samantha Robison

© Samantha Robison

© Samantha Robison

© Samantha Robison

© Samantha Robison

© Samantha Robison

© Samantha Robison

© Samantha Robison

© Samantha Robison

© Samantha Robison

© Falk Lehmann

© Samantha Robison

© Samantha Robison

© Falk Lehmann

© Falk Lehmann

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