Lighting Up Hassan’s Outlook

Thursday 21 May 2015

Hassan spent three months training at Save the Children and UNICEF’s Multi Activity Centre in Za’atari camp. In partnership with UNICEF, Save the Children runs four Multi Activity Centres in the camp. The gender segregated centres target youth between the ages of 14 and 24. The centres allow youth to engage in a wide range of activities like sports, psychosocial support, arts, informal education and much more.

A vocational training programme in electrical power was recently offered at the boys’ centre, to introduce the skill to whoever was interested. Hassan registered in the course three months ago, where he learned about household electrical power and how to fix it when problems arise.

“I didn’t know anything about electricity until I came to the centre. I cando electrical wiring for a whole house now and fix my neighbors’ electrical problems,” said 18 year-old Hassan.

Hassan used to go to school before he and his family of 11 fled to Za’atari camp 14 Months ago due to the escalating conflict in Syria. He was aiming to become a computer engineer after graduating from school, but like many children who fled Syria, his goals were shifted.

“I wanted to work in computers and to be an expert in that, now I can’t because I’m a refugee living in a camp,” shared Hassan, “I prefer to work in electricity because I believe it’s easier for me to make use of it here.”

Since no one in Hassan’s family is working, he felt the need to be useful and to prove that he’s able to be productive in hopes of generating an income for his family. Hassan had no previous knowledge on electricity, but after his participation in the training, he is now looking for new opportunities inside the camp.

“I know some electricians who work across the camp whom I could assist because I now have the knowledge and practice,” he said, “and if we go back to Syria, I can use this skill to be a professional electrician.”

Before attending the multi-activity centre, Hassan used to sit in his tent with barely anything to do. Joining the centre, gave him an opportunity to make new friends and engage in fun and educational activities.

“I learned to play volleyball here really well, and I do it on a daily basis at the centre,” said Hassan.

At home, his family also noticed positive changes in Hassan’s attitude and outlook on life in the camp, which encourages him to work harder.

“I feel more hopeful and that encourages me to continue with learning and developing myself,” he added.

Save the Children’s Multi-Activity Centre has been reaching over 2,000 Syrian youth and adolescents living in Za’atari camp, helping provide a sense of normalcy back into their lives.