A Wedding in Za'atari

I could see the clouds of dust before I could see people.

We rounded the corner and there stood a long line of men, gathered in a crescent-shaped dance line. They began to move in tandem, stomping and kicking, first with small steps and then bigger movements, dancing up a dust storm. A group of women sat to the side and watched the festivities, chatting and taking pictures and passing around juice to the guests. They were celebrating the wedding of Amjad, a volunteer in Questscope's youth center in Za'atari Refugee Camp.

Weddings look a bit different here in...MORE

Refugee Update from Curt in Europe

The most overwhelming casualty for families, children, and young men and women forced to become refugees is to find themselves suddenly as survivors with everything familiar ripped away.   

Everything gone. Changed.  Total dependence on others for food, water, shelter, safety. No choices. No friends. The shock of the gut-wrenching loss of relationships is absolutely devastating. Visible effects - homelessness, friendlessness, hunger - are compounded by invisible effects - fear, helplessness, emotions - that tear at their very sense of feeling that...MORE

The Aqaba Project

Reem and her six sisters live in Aqaba, a port city in the south of Jordan.

They have been out of school for nearly four years, ever since they fled their home in Syria. They live in a neighborhood where no young girl should walk around in the streets, so they spend most of their time cooped up inside.

For a while Reem and her family were able to get by, but the little money they had ran out. You can feel the tight pressure in the room when her dad talks about his daughters.

“Girls are especially vulnerable in this world and we’re not really...MORE

A Second Chance

This month we celebrated the opening of 28 new alternative education centers across Jordan. This is the launch point to reach over 100,000 out-of-school Jordanian and Syrian youth in the years to come. 

The Syria Crisis has been raging on for five long years.  Many Syrian refugee youth have been out of school for that entire time. Jordanian youth who were vulnerable before the crisis have even less support now as the Jordanian school system struggles under the pressure of unexpected numbers. Jordan is a country of only six million into which nearly one...MORE

A Major Milestone

We just celebrated a major milestone at our Youth Center in the Za’atari Refugee Camp: the official opening of our new sports field. It’s a rare patch of green in an oppressively brown and dusty refugee camp. Hundreds of youth now have a safe place to play and run around with their friends. 

This achievement alone is a big reason for us to celebrate. But the completion of the sports field means something even more significant: the Youth Center is now fully operational

...MORE

The Azraq Refugee Camp

No one wants to be caught in a place where there is no escape. Having no education is such a place. Having no certificate that says you have an education also leaves you in that place. Being a refugee can push you into that place. 

Questscope works with young people who have dreams for their future. They are in search of a significant life and a way to contribute to the world, but they are out of school and don’t have the support to turn these dreams into reality. We work in corners of the world where young people have lost the ability to make choices and plan for their lives...MORE

Spiritual Formation Training

We had wonderful formation sessions for "Principles of Spiritual Formation" in a training week in Aqaba, Jordan earlier this month with 23 Syrian volunteers from the Za'atari Refugee Camp and eight Questscope staff.

Our Syrian volunteers in Za’atari – who are also refugees – are the backbone of our Youth Center and mentorship programs in the camp. They plan and facilitate activities and build strong relationships and a positive community.

...MORE

Life Inside the Za'atari Refugee Camp

In 2012, Bassem fled Syria to Jordan to the Za'atari Refugee Camp to escape snipers, machine gunners, rockets, and bombs in his hometown in the south of Syria. He figured he would be in the camp for a few days and then get back to his undergraduate university studies. That will soon be four years ago.

Za'atari Camp has changed a lot since Bassem first arrived. From a cluster of hundreds of emergency UN tents in the middle of deserted fields not far outside Za’atari town, it has grown to become the 4th largest city in Jordan - a...MORE

Our Response to Syria - from Curt Rhodes

Syria is in the news a lot these days. And it's a place where I've spent a lot of time. It was a country of artists, engineers, teachers, people who had dreams and plans. Their children played under the shade of old trees along the edges of streets and their young people gathered in dozens of brightly-lit internet coffee shops at night. Before fighting broke out in 2011, Syria's population was 22 million. 

Today, half those Syrians have been forced to flee their homes. 7.6 million are now displaced within Syria and 4 million have become refugees in...MORE

Caring for the Other Refugees

via The New York Times 

The world’s attention has been riveted on the refugee crisis unfolding in Europe, and on the shift in Europe as leaders, finally, take steps to deal with it. But one of the reasons Syrians are risking their lives to reach Europe is that life has become unbearable in the countries closer to home where many have taken refuge.

About 12 million Syrians — more than half the country’s prewar population — have been displaced...MORE

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