Learning to be Responsible

The Voice team attended the opening ceremony for the Oxfam WASH blocks yesterday in Za’atari Camp. The wash blocks were opened with cheers, chants, and plenty of children roaming around, ecstatic about the opening of these facilities. Jeffery Silverman, Oxfam’s Social Mobilization, Gender and Accountability Specialist gave a speech discussing how it was a joint effort between Oxfam and the Syrian community. He said, “The community helped us design new things like the roof which allows for more light to come in, which was an idea from the refugee community, WASH committees have also been formulated to discuss water, sanitation, and hygiene, and the children helped decorate the tiles.”

While the Voice team took photos of the WASH blocks, we were stopped by 3 young girls giving us a lesson in the tidiness of the restroom. These young girls Raghad, 11 Marwa, 7 and Rana, 11 were given a duty and responsibility for monitoring the restrooms and help keep them clean. Today they were at the blocks early in the morning working on mopping down the restrooms and preparing them for the opening to the community. However, they were extremely careful and observing the facilities as their own. Marwa mentioned that Oxfam employee, Sally El Mouallem, social mobilizer, taught them about cleanliness and organization. “She encouraged us and gave us a responsibility because the bathroom is for us, it is like my home. Ms. Sally taught us to wash our hands, and keep our area clean, and we promised her that we will keep it super clean.”

The girls expressed that when they see a young child they will not let them enter the facility unless they have an adult present. The girls are doing this for several purposes, Rana said, “I want our people to take care of their belongings since we all deserve to be utilizing something clean and stay away from sickness.” And Raghad said, “I am doing this for my dad who is somewhere is Syria, I hope he sees me today on the news and sees how I look and what I am doing.”

After months of hard work, Oxfam opened their facilities and everyone was excited and happy to have at least one of their basic necessities met. Abdul Malik, a father of two girls said, “I miss my family in Syria but at least today Oxfam could put a smile on people’s face.”

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Filed under Health, Water & Sanitation

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