Children are the future!

This is Amina (name changed), a 10-year-old Syrian girl. Two years ago, she and her family fled the bombing attacks in Damascus out of fear for their lives. Since then, she has been living in Azraq, one of the largest refugee camps in Jordan. The emotional wounds are deep and the future is uncertain. Then the RED NOSES clowns arrived and she attended a workshop where she rediscovered not only laughter and the joy of life, but also found the power of words; words which allow her to express her wishes for the future.

Rosalina, the clown, easily starts a conversation with Amina. She is different; she doesn’t want to get married young, like her friends here do, by marrying rich men for financial security. She wants to study and become a medical doctor. She tries to make sure that she can go to the school in the camp – run by Save the Children Jordan under the auspices of UNICEF - and hopes that her parents have enough money so that she can continue and finish her education. 

She knows that her parents have to finance their livelihood in the camp after the initial financial assistance is over. This means they have to somehow earn money, e.g. for heating during this year’s cold winter in Jordan. Working hands, even those of children, aren’t just a welcoming addition, but an absolute necessity.

Damascus was her home. She loved Damascene ice cream, Bakdash, a famous speciality of the city, and ate it at least once a week. Then the horrible bombings made life in Damascus dangerous. Driven by fear for their lives, the entire family fled.

They actually only wanted to leave home for a few months – and always held onto the wish to return home as soon as possible. The family has been in Azraq over two years now and there is still no sign that they will be able to return home soon. Her parents have no hope.

Experience Theatre Workshop
Amina was one of about 20 children (of the more than 200 in total) who attended an Experience Theatre Workshop held by RED NOSES International. The clowndoctors developed a stage play with the children. The topic: school. The children were encouraged to get involved, talk about their escape and about their new lives, help create a storyline and learn how to find new ways to solve their problems. There was a performance at the end for the parents, friends and teachers. The applause feels good, giving the children strength and courage.

In the process, Amina found words. The words she needed to convince her parents how important school is as a means to secure a life and a future for herself. And she learned that humour can help and give you strength. All said and done important components for a positive future.


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