Jordan

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Since 2011, the war in Syria has pushed more than 700,000 people to take refuge in Jordan, a third of whom are school-age children. The majority of this refugee population live precariously in urban areas – 20% live in camps. Their arrival created significant pressure on Jordanian public services, particularly in education. The most populated regions in the north of the country had to set up a “double-session” system to take in the increased number of students. The reception of the Syrian refugees also posed a great challenge to community integration for both children and adults. 

Since 2015, we have been working with international organizations and local authorities in Jordan to install Ideas Boxes in different locations and situations and to adapt it to the needs of the refugee and host communities.

LWB installed a first Ideas Box in 2015 in the Syrian refugee camp of Azraq, where it was part of the psychosocial activities offered by the association CARE. LWB set up a second Ideas Box in 2016 in the Zaatari camp within a learning center of the Norwegian Refugee Council.

In 2017, LWB and CARE also collaborated with the association Wameed to produce a rap workshop using the Ideas Box. Around 30 young girls and boys were trained to produce their own hip-hop project (lyrics, music, video clip).

In the community center of Nuhza, in the suburbs of Amman, LWB installed an Ideas Box in partnership with the Danish Refugee Council. In this all-accessible space for both refugees and host populations, Libraries Without Borders and its partner offered activities that encouraged personal development, learning, and the psychosocial well-being of children. In addition, the Ideas Box provided a safe space. For example, during the activities, the children made a book about their daily lives. The opportunity offered by the Ideas Box to express themselves was essential for these children. 

In 2017, LWB collaborated with the Children’s Museum of Amman. An Ideas Box was part of  a national tour of the museum coordinators to promote education for children and adolescents in the most remote areas of the country.

In Jordan, 80% of refugees live in urban and peri-urban areas of the country, far from the camps. It is in this context that Bibliothèques Sans Frontières and the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) have worked to improve the protection services offered to these extremely isolated populations in the southern regions. From August to November 2018, six Ideas Cube were installed around Ma’an and Karak; they help reinforce activities proposed by the mobile protection units of DRC, especially in the case of the educational and personal expression applications installed on the tablets. According to the DRC team, the arrival of the Ideas Cube has only reinforced the commitment and motivation of the teams and participants in the workshops.

In 2018, LWB and the NGO Jordanian Hashemite Fund for Human Development (JOHUD) joined forces to set up an Ideas Box in the center of Marka, to the east of Amman. This informal education center, authorized by the Ministry of Education, has welcomed more than 300 child and adolescent school dropouts, of whom the majority are urban refugees. Every day, these new students participated in workshops devised by both our team and by teachers, who helped to make the courses and activities held at the center more relevant. Since the mobile media center’s arrival, our team has trained several of the center’s facilitators and worked collaboratively with teachers, which has led to thinking about new teaching methods. The Ideas Box is not only used by teachers, who integrate the tools and resources into their own courses, it is also used to host ‘clubs’ based around subjects chosen by the adolescents themselves. For example, there is now a science club and one that is focused on writing comic books and creating animation films.

In early 2020, in cooperation with the UEFA Foundation for Children, we organized the first eSport tournament for Syrian refugees in Zaatari, Jordan: the Refugee eSport Cup! Twenty kilometers from the Syrian border, 70,000 refugees currently live at this camp, nearly 40,000 of whom are children and adolescents. This tournament brought together 146 players from 10 to 18 years of age, allowing participants to escape their daily lives as well as create social ties, cultivate values related to sports, and develop their interpersonal skills. Approximately 100 young people and parents gathered in the camp’s cinema, where the tournament was broadcast live on the big screen. A second tournament was planned at the end of 2020 in the Rohingya refugee camp in Kutupalong, Bangladesh.

Photo d'un rappeur animant l'atelier hip-hop en Jordanie

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