Making Change in Za'atari

The Za'atari Refugee Camp is a place where people who have no choices have to live. Youth in particular have very little control over their lives. They don't know when they'll be able to return home and most decisions about how they will live in the camp are made by others.

They are people in search of a significant life and a way to contribute to the world, but there is so much they cannot change.

The Creativity Fund Committee was born out of the desire to find what they CAN change. Every month, youth bring their ideas to this committee of their peers and together they design initiatives that benefit others in the camp.

They painted murals on caravans in neglected areas. They created the 'Hand in Hand' initiative to make access and participation easier at the Youth Center for kids with physical disabilities.

They designed a project to collect baby slings for mothers who otherwise wouldn't have been able to participate in activities. Out of this grew the addition of parenting classes for young moms and dads living in Za'atari.

It can be hard to accept what you cannot change. It would have been easier for these young people to resign themselves to being victims of a complex crisis they did not create.

But they chose to believe that even when it seems like all the cards are stacked against you – you can still make a real difference. These young people are just making small pushes where they can, and making big changes in the lives of those around them. Their initiatives have already benefited hundreds at the camp.

Things only become hopeless when we choose to do nothing. Hope lives in Za'atari because these young people choose to do something. Hope lives in Za'atari because you choose to do something.

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