Education is the basis for positive change

ARDD

16 Days of Activism: Ending GBV in Education

The Syrian Refugees Empowerment Project, conducted by ARDD in partnership with Tamkeen and funded by Open Society Foundation, is supported by the moral belief and written law that education is a right for all. However, despite valuable laws–including right to register a student in the closest government school and ability to register without specific documents—many Syrian refugees face serious obstacles, hindering the ability to act on these rights. One of these issues is gender based violence (GBV).

Rana Hajaia, a community facilitator with ARDD, recently held a group information session in Baqa’a Camp, with the hopes of reaching refugees in need. “It was an important opportunity,” she said, “to meet the children of Palestinian refugees in poor areas in need of development.” According to URNWA, Baqa’a is ranked the third poorest camp in Jordan, with 119,000 registered Palestinian refugees and approximately 17,000 Syrian refugees. It is also home to 16 double-shifted schools.

During her session, Rana focused on specific challenges the beneficiaries face. In addition to breaking stereotypes about refugees and education, she led discussions about gender based violence as an obstacle to education. The group noted that GBV is a significant contributor to school drop-out rates. In response to this issue, Rana stressed the importance of catch-up schools to help girls continue empowering themselves through education. She also emphasized the importance of legal awareness, specifically regarding girls’ education, and the need to defend and leverage that right. “Education is the basis for positive change,” she said, “therefore, our educational messages are important and effective in developing society.”

The Syrian Refugees Empowerment Project works to spread information about educational rights to refugees and Jordanians in need. One of the core messages included in these sessions is awareness of catch-up schools implemented and overseen by the Ministry of Education. Catch-up schools and other remedial and informal education alternativesare important options for students and girls to continue their education. Education is not only a right, but it is a methodof empowerment and protection. Therefore, ARDD and the Syrian Refugees Empowerment Project stand with 16 Days of Activism to end GBV in education.

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