Children in Za’atari tell their own stories of winter

Freezing winter storms have arrived in Syria and the region causing further hardship for the millions of Syrian children who are displaced inside Syria or have fled to other countries as refugees.

In Za’atari Refugee Camp, Jordan, heavy rain caused flooding in some tents, forcing families to take shelter in the Child Friendly Spaces supported by UNICEF.

UNICEF asked children to explain what life in a refugee camp is like during the winter months:

The children of Syria are suffering another brutal winter
Lojain, 9 years old, Z'aatari Refugee Camp

Lojain

“I was sleeping in the tent with my brother and the tent flooded and fell down on us. I was crying when I woke up and I thought I was going to die. I couldn’t sleep last night (at the Child Friendly Space) because all of the small children were crying all the time. I went today to get bread for my family and my hands and feet were frozen.”

 

The children of Syria are suffering through another brutal winter
Amira, 13 years old, Za'atari Refugee Camp

Amira

“The tent fell down on us, we have nothing now – everything was ruined. My mom woke me up when the tent fell and said we have to go. All I could think about was my family back in Syria. I want to go back to Syria, I want to be with my dad. I can’t sleep because all of the children are crying. There is a heater here (at the Child Friendly Space) but I am still cold. Last night I slept on the floor, I didn’t have a mattress but at least I had a blanket.”

 

The children of Syria are suffering another brutal winter
Hussein, 12, Za'atari Refugee Camp

Hussein

“I have been working with a wheelbarrow here in the camp. It is so cold – but what else can I do? We were sleeping and the water entered the tent and we had to leave. I was thinking about my father, if he was here nothing would happen like this. Before the fighting in Syria I went to school and I used to like school.”

UNICEF is providing winter clothes to 25,000 vulnerable children in Za’atari and ensuring children have warm, safe spaces to go to school.

As told to Melanie Sharp, UNICEF 

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