In moments of stress and tragedy, we look for a safe place. For Amer, 16 years old, that safe place used to be his school and his home in Syria.
When his family left Syria to come to Jordan’s Zaatari camp, those safe places were ripped away from him one by one. He was not able to go to school. His father had been injured and lost his brother in the war. The stress his family felt was redirected toward him, and Amer was confined to home and often abused. His home, the only place he could go, was no longer a safe place at all.
Amer used to love to study, draw and write, but now fear and isolation paralyzed his hope, passion and motivation.
Questscope mentor coordinators saw that if Amer’s home could not be his safe place, he needed another place to go where he could belong. They spent time talking with Amer’s father, who finally allowed him to leave the home to attend Questscope’s mentoring program.
For the first time since leaving his home in Syria, Amer felt safe. For the first time, he was a part of something. Opportunities to draw, play music and participate in sports revived his hope and passion.
Amer’s transformation did not stop with him. His participation in the mentoring program has had a tremendous impact on his family as well. Amer borrows books from Questscope to read to his younger brother at home. His mentors showed pictures of Amer to his father, who was able to see his son smiling, surrounded by a community of friends and role models.
Now, Amer’s relationship with his father has improved and his home is once again becoming a safe place. Their family is closer than ever before.
Rebuilding from the devastation of war starts with one person—one mentor who is a champion to one child, like Amer. The impact of mentoring, however, extends far beyond the individual. It is a catalyst to restore life and hope for families and communities who are working together to rebuild a nation.