A School for All

By Robyn Wilson   |  Photos by Ty Van Rensburg

Child Champions at schools that OneChild supports in Jordan are giving all children, including refugees, the opportunity to learn, develop and thrive.

Yosef*, a 12-year-old sponsored boy, loves to go to school. His favorite subject is science. He dreams of becoming a doctor, and like many children his age, a famous soccer player, too. His family lives in poverty, so he works hard to succeed in school. He is determined to have a better life.

But many of his friends don’t have the same opportunity.

In Amman, Jordan, where Yosef lives, many children aren’t able to go to school. For those who attend school, the quality of education is often so inadequate that children graduate without basic reading and math skills.

Hafida*, Yosef’s mom, is grateful that her son is sponsored with OneChild so he can attend a school where he receives an excellent education. As a teacher at the school, she believes strongly in education. “This school is very special because children do not advance to the next grade unless they know how to read and write,” says Hafida. “And they know the material really well! The principal is very good at holding the administration accountable to make sure it’s one of the best schools. All the children here get a good education … that’s why they’re succeeding.”

Hafida dreams of her five children graduating, pursuing their dreams and breaking the cycle of poverty. “I want them to have a better life,” she says. “My desire is to have my children be the best they can be, graduate and find good employment, so they can have a restful life — not a life full of difficulties like I’ve had to face.”

The family recently won a local contest, which has helped them financially. But they still struggle, like most families in their community. Hafida and her husband cannot afford to rent their own home. So their family of seven lives with the children’s aunt and uncle.

Hafida is grateful for Yosef’s sponsor who helps cover the cost of his school tuition. “This help is important because if we had to pay tuition on a monthly basis, it would not get paid,” says Hafida. “The fact that we don’t have to pay the tuition — this is a big, big help!” Since most of Yosef’s school fees are paid through his sponsorship, Hafida and her husband are able to use their remaining money on basic necessities for their family, like food and clothing.

Another unique aspect of the school is that all children are welcome, including refugees. “Even Syrian children who are forbidden from attending government schools can come here,” explains Hafida. “It makes no difference where the children come from. Children are children. When we say children, no matter if they are Syrian, Palestinian, Egyptian or Jordanian, they’re children, and we need to show compassion towards them.”

Today, 100 children receive life-changing care at Yosef’s school. Teachers work hard to ensure that all children attending the school have their individual needs met. The school employs teachers who speak Arabic and English so that each child can understand the lessons.

Children are also offered transportation to and from school and supplies to help them succeed. “When the kids come, we provide them with all of the school materials they need like pencils, pencil sharpeners, pens, erasers and notebooks,” says Hafida. Plus, children enjoy a nourishing meal each day, which helps prevent malnutrition.

When children come to school, they hear about God’s love, as well. They are learning that they are valuable in God’s eyes. Children are also realizing that God has great plans for them!

Without the OneChild-supported school, these children would have very different lives. “There would be no future for them,” says Hafida. She prays that the children remember everything they learn and go on to transform the country of Jordan. “I dream of a safe, secure country and that the economic conditions improve in this area. I hope that these children will succeed in school and in life.”

*Names have been changed to protect identities.