Maria, 11, is a Palestine refugee from Syria. She and her seven siblings live in Zarqa, the biggest Palestinian camp in Jordan. They fled Syria when one of her sisters was almost kidnapped. The father disappeared in Syria. What was supposed to be a short visit across the border, became a new life. Sabah, Maria’s mother, says: “I’m responsible for my family and life is very tough. I am the mother but also the father. I’m responsible for everything.”

Ever since they arrived in Jordan, Sabah and her children have had access to cash assistance, education, healthcare and protection. Living in the Zarqa camp is their only chance of survival.

I like the school. Studying will help me succeed and grow up. I study to become an engineer or a doctor.

On top of normal classes, Palestinian refugee children attend support lessons to compensate for the educational gaps brought about by the crisis. Creating an environment of integration and acceptance within Maria’s class has been a priority for her teachers.

Life is hard for Sabah and her children, but with the financial aid and in-kind services they receive, they are able to lead a semi-normal life far from home.

© European Union 2018 / Johanna de Tessières

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