UNESCO-led Education activities at the Syrian refugee Za’atari Camp welcome the official visit of the EU Commissioner
The European Union (EU) Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy, Mr Štefan Füle, has paid an official visit to Za’atari Camp in the Jordan’s northern border to draw attention on the situation of the Syrian refugees. Accompanied by Dr. Anna Paolini, the Director of UNESCO’s Office in Amman and UNESCO Representative in Jordan, the EU Commissioner met with beneficiaries of UNESCO’s mentoring and informal education (IFE) programmes targeting at-risk Syrian youth in the camp.
“Conflict and displacement have a devastating impact on the educational prospects of displaced persons and constitute also a burden for the education systems of host communities,” said Dr Anna Paolini, Director of UNESCO’s Office in Amman. “UNESCO plays an active role in promoting education as a key tool to prevent conflict and to build peace and dialogue in emergency and post-conflict situations,” she commented.
U NESCO’s activities in the Education field are part of a country-wide 4.3 million Euro project funded by the EU and coordinated by the UNESCO Amman Office aiming to sustain quality education and promote skills development opportunities for young Syrian refugees and young Jordanians impacted by the humanitarian crisis.
With Syrian refugees reaching almost half a million (either registered or awaiting registration with UNHCR) in June 2013 – 55% of which are children under the age of 18 – educational opportunities for conflict-affected youth are needed to enable them to develop resilient attitudes, catch up with school, or acquire new skills that would enhance their future employment prospects.
Together with the skills acquired, hope and self-confidence are mentioned by the participants in the Project as major benefits. "This program gives us new hope to connect with our community inside the camp," said one of the mentors. "This experience has provided me with the sense that I am able to do something valuable for my community,” a facilitator stated.
The UNESCO Amman Office is partnering with the Ministry of Education of Jordan and local stakeholders like the Queen Rania Training Academy (QRTA) and Questscope. The three-year Project has as major goals to build the capacities of teachers in emergency situations and to offer informal and non-formal education programmes and life skills opportunities for Syrian and Jordanian youth.
In the framework of this initiative, UNESCO will deliver teacher training that adheres to internationally-recognized standards and guidelines for education in emergency and post conflict situations as provided by the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) Minimum Standards. Furthermore, UNESCO will map the needs of youth through a comprehensive census leading to further provision of demand-driven vocational training, literacy and livelihood programs, as well as mentoring, informal and non-formal education in the camps and urban areas.
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