Zaatari Civic Engagement Project
In May 2014, ARDD-Legal Aid began implementing the Civic Engagement for Women in Za’atari Camp Project in partnership with UN Women. The main objective of the 7 month project was to enhance the civic engagement skills of the participants of the UN Women Oasis program. Specifically the program aimed to:
- Provide women with solid skills in civic engagement
- Assist women in identifying their own leadership potential and how they can contribute more effectively to the change they want to see in their communities
- Explore ways of working positively with male refugees and service providers, and to encourage men to support the inclusion role of women and their role as leaders.
The program provided beneficiaries with an increased understanding of what civic engagement is and how they can become actively involved in solving issues within their communities. The training was composed of eight training topics that provided approximately 40 men and women living in the Za’atari Camp with practical tools and guidance, which helped to empower the participants in identifying issues within their own communities and how to take action.
The project also enabled the participants to put theory into practice through civic engagement initiatives developed by the women’s groups. The civic engagement initiative topics included:
- Say No to Early Marriage
- Providing Practical IT Support and Assistance to Female Students
- Improving Road Safety for Children in the Camp
- Providing Educational Support for Students in the Camp
- Improving General Hygiene in the Camp
With the purpose of enhancing the involvement of men in the program, ARDD-Legal Aid conducted a strategy session for male participants titled “Supporting Women Initiatives”. The sessions aimed to create a discussion among male participants about the issues facing communities in Za’atari, successful civic engagement initiatives implemented, and finally how the male population can provide more support to women’s initiatives and help enable women to play a greater role in the camp.
The Civic Engagement for Women in Za’atari Camp Project proved to be a truly rewarding experience. The seven month project provided beneficiaries with increased understanding of civic engagement and how they can proactively address and find solutions to issues faced by members of the community at the camp. As expressed by one of the beneficiaries, “Before the training sessions I was weak in expressing my opinion, now I started to feel stronger and braver in many situations”. Maysoon, another beneficiary stated: “the project idea is perfect as women are in a desperate need for different educational opportunities. I am educated; however this training provided me with more knowledge as well as a lot of hope and support, especially after the hard times we have been through in Syria and in the camp.” Going forward, ARDD-Legal Aid remains committed to further the outcomes of this project and to continue its mission of empowering marginalized groups and supporting refugee in Jordan.