The Voice team accompanied a group of Oxfam’s team working in informal settlements inhabited by Syrian refugees in an area called ‘Al Lubban’ on the Airport road in the capital Amman. The team provides exercises for children including games and activities which aim at teaching them how to raise the awareness on health issues and the importance of cleanliness to others. Moreover, Oxfam collects information of the families of Syrians and Jordanians living in the targeted areas in order to provide them with hygiene kits and any other assistance depending on the severity of each family’s needs.
Oxfam’s public health officer, Madlein Abu Amrieh, stated that the biggest challenge that the team faces with regards to working in informal settlements is the instability of the families living there and their constant moving from one location to another; looking for a source of income. She also adds, “Children here are sad because they want to join schools but cannot because their families keep moving. They are enthusiastic about the activities we do with them which include games and exercises, but their constant relocation and the parent’s disregard for such activities also cause challenges for us. On the other hand, we always find a large number of children wanting to join our activities and their parents welcome this initiative.”
Mohammad Hussein, a refugee who came to Jordan from Rural Hamat 9 months ago when fighting intensified, was followed by his family 4 months later as they were able to find a source of income working in agriculture depending on the season. For example, he has been in Al Lubban with his family for a while now working in planting and harvesting tomatoes, but they are leaving tomorrow to the governorate of Mafraq to work there. Mohammad tells Voice, “There’s no set amount of time that we stay in one location or the other. We might stay in one place for a month, or a week, and sometimes we only go in the morning to one place to work then leave at the end of the day. Of course this is difficult for us; our children can’t go to school, and we’re not able to get free medical care due to our constant relocation away from the area in which we registered. But after all, this is how we make a living.”