Rawan's Story: Strength, Healing, Rebuilding

When is enough, enough?

For Rawan, a 14-year-old Syrian refugee, you could say enough was enough when she had to leave behind her school, her friends, and her home in Syria. She had just completed 8th grade and had the world at her fingertips.

Rawan’s mother led the family of four girls and two boys into Jordan. Alone. Their father had to stay behind in Syria. Instead of hanging out with friends and going to school like most teenagers, Rawan was left with a heavy burden of chores and the responsibility of caring for her siblings.

Feeling trapped, the invitation to join Questscope’s informal education (IFE) program was a breakthrough that finally showed a sign of light in Rawan’s life. The stress of what Rawan had already endured at such a young age showed when she first joined IFE. It was difficult for her to relate to and get along with the other girls.

Rawan’s facilitator recognized this, and started engaging her in one-on-one time. Just as she had started to adapt, Rawan received devastating news.

At just 14 years old, she was diagnosed with cancer.

But while a battle with cancer was not easy, she was in the right place. She was connected with a local organization to help her access treatment. Through IFE, she had a network of support that was an invaluable source of strength for her.

Two surgeries have helped Rawan heal from cancer. A network of friends and role models that care about her have given her strength to heal from isolation and loss. 

Sometimes, enough is enough. But Rawan lets nothing stand in the way of her life, and her dreams. Not cancer. Not war. And not isolation and fear. She returned to school this fall, and is volunteering her time to give back to the community that has helped her. More than just your typical teenager, she moves forward beautifully and boldly.


Name changed for confidentiality and protection.