"There is no difference between Syria and Jordan. Your friends here will like you."
Many Syrian refugee children have been through so much that their psychological state once they re-settle into a new, foreign country, can be rough.
Speaking of Maria, a Palestinian refugee from Syria, one of her teachers explained that with other educators they “tried to mitigate the impact of the difficult situation she was facing in order to help her. When Maria first came to the school, she felt that “the other pupils weren’t expecting her and would not treat her normally”. But we did counselling and informed them that Syrian pupils are not different from us and we should treat them exactly as we treat each other,” she explains. “We should make them feel at home and that we are their friends so they don’t feel alienated or home sick. We should make them feel as if they are in their homeland and nothing has changed,” she says.
Addressing perception issues is a tough job but children are open to understanding. The use, for example, of student parliaments has greatly helped in creating an environment of acceptance and integration. These represent moments during which children come together and discuss different topics amongst each other.
Thanks to UNRWA and with the support of the EU Trust Fund, children like Maria have access to services that allow them to lead a normal life while they are away from home. In addition, teachers and educators play a fundamental role in helping these children integrate in Jordanian society and support them in filling the gap the war left in their education path.