Salem: Engineering My Future
15-year-old Salem escaped Syria along with his family two years ago to find refuge in Jordan, after they lived in a school basement for a year during the bombings in in Syria. “I have seen terrible things back home, I remember one time hearing a very loud noise near my house, I walked outside to see what was happening, I found my two cousins laying on the street even, they were dead” Salem said. After a two-day journey to the Jordanian border, Salem and his family arrived at Za’atari refugee camp. “It was very hard for me to accept living in a tent, all my friends and relatives stayed in Syria, I couldn’t sleep because I was very worried about everyone back home” Salem said.
Three months after arriving to Za’atari camp, Salem’s father went back to Syria to sell their house and belongings and send the money to his family in the camp. Salem’s father is still in Syria. “I still talk to my father on the phone and give him updates about my school, he’s happy to hear that I’m doing good,” Salem said.
Salem heard about the Child-Family Centre (CFC), established by Save the Children and UNICEF, through one of Save the Children’s community mobilizers. Salem was very excited to join, as he had plenty of free time before school. “Whenever I struggle with a math homework assignment, I go to the CFC and ask the teachers there to help me with it.” Salem said. CFCs provide quality education and protection services to assist the healing process of children who suffer from physical and psychosocial harm, directly promoting to their cognitive, social and emotional wellbeing as well as reaching out to parents and the camp community and forming child protection committees.
“Salem is the only child who brings his school books with him to study in the centre, and we are happy to help him with his homework,” Murad said, a social worker at the CFC.
Before attending the CFC, Salem had some problems with the children in his neighbourhood. Through the psychosocial activities conducted at the CFC, Salem resolved the issues with the neighbourhood children and they actually became friends. Salem wants to be an engineer in the future. “I love drawing, and I love math, and both are related to engineering,” Salem said.