Syrian Women Cope, ZA’ATARI REFUGEE CAMP

ZA’ATARI REFUGEE CAMP, Mafreq, Jordan — Syrian women residing in the are trying to cope with life in the fenced area that hosts some 40,000 refugees, by engaging in several activities organized by UNFPA.

For Fathieh, participating in these activities helps kill time.

“Currently, I train women on weaving and embroidery skills, and I learn other handicrafts,” said the mother of ten.

Fathieh noted that she attended workshops about family planning organized by the UNFPA and the Noor Al Hussein Foundation’s Institute for Family Health (IFH), where women interested in learning handicrafts were provided with a place and tools.

“We will organise a bazaar next month to showcase our products,” Fathieh told The Jordan Times earlier this week at the camp near Mafraq, 80km northeast of Amman.

Saroones, another Zaatari resident, said she also visits the UNFPA facility to attend workshops and learn embroidery skills.

“I enjoy my time here. I find out new information about family planning, learn handicrafts and communicate with other women,” Saroones said. She noted that although her family is conservative, her husband does not mind her moving around in the camp because he “knows that I need to be engaged in activities to feel better”.

According to UNFPA Assistant Representative Muna Idris, providing a safe area for women in crisis situations is part of the agency’s mission.

Idris noted that an activity or event is organized almost every day for women, girls and even men in the camp.

In cooperation with other partners, including the IFH, “we educate them on family planning and prevention of domestic violence, and provide healthcare services for women at the clinic we established here,” Idris told reporters during a media tour of the camp on Tuesday.

Some 7,000 pregnant women have visited the UNFPA clinic since the establishment of the camp, where they are provided with pre- and postnatal services.

In addition to the these services, UNFPA — in cooperation with the Family Protection Department — trained camp workers on the UN code of conduct to prevent incorrect practices.

— as reported by Khetam Malkawi and published in the Jordanian Times

Related resources

The Growing Crisis in Syria Since the beginning of conflict in Syria over 18 months ago, over 408,000 people, mostly women and children, have been registered as refugees in neighboring countries. On one given day, nearly 11,000 people fled the country for Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. The conflict has destroyed most infrastructure in the cities of Aleppo and Homs.

Basic health services are overstretched or disrupted. Camps have been set up at border areas with Syria, where UNFPA is assisting in the provision of lifesaving reproductive health care services and psycho-social support. UNFPA is ensuring that the specific needs of women and girls are factored into humanitarian response to the region.

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