Nineteen year old Rana* carefully reads a fairytale to a class of fourth graders in Za’atari Refugee Camp. Rana designed this ‘Moving Library’ project, in which Syrian youth volunteers lead reading activities during student free periods. In the midst of the busy refugee camp and crowded classroom, all eyes are on her.
She designed this project with the Syrian Youth Committee, a network of youth leaders, to motivate students with an engaging school environment and foster their love of reading and learning. A passionate youth leader within the camp, Rana is focused on supporting children’s education. Yet, she herself is unable to continue her education. Rana had just finished high school when war destroyed her home and sent her family fleeing to Jordan. Her dreams of going to university were dashed, her future put on hold.
“Higher education is extremely important for me and all Syrian youth. Now, Syria has lost many young people in the war. We want to overcome this loss, this loss of my beloved Syria, and bring back its knowledge, culture, and development.”
Yet without opportunities for higher education, she worries if she and her fellow youth will ever be able to achieve these dreams – if they will ever be able to rebuild the home they love in Syria. As Rana continues to support the education of others, she can’t help but wonder – who will support her?
*name has been changed upon request