Despite her treacherous journey from Syria to Azraq Camp in Jordan, Shaima is blossoming.
“We were in our village when the missiles and bombs hit. All of the houses were destroyed,” says 13-year-old Shaima. She is haunted by memories of people screaming in her neighborhood.
After a bomb explosion at the back of their school, Shaima and her sister were too scared to enter their classroom. Even though much of their school was still standing, it was too dangerous to attend.
Shaima watched as her friends and neighbours fled to Jordan for safety and a better life. Roughly 5.6 million Syrians have fled their country as refugees.
Shaima’s family stayed in Syria as long as possible but had to flee when the situation deteriorated and their fears for safety grew. Within a few hours, she quickly packed what was most important to her; clothes, her favourite book and a handful of photographs.
Shaima and her family walked 72 kilometres from Syria to Jordan. Due the extreme heat, scorching sun, lack of water and protection, Shaima’s sister suffered from sunstroke and passed away.
“I don’t feel I can talk to my mother about my sister’s death because she’s grieving for my sister. I don’t like to see tears on her face. I feel sad. Our family was very close and suddenly, we were torn apart,” says Shaima.
Shaima and her family are struggling to rebuild their lives at Azraq camp. “I wish I could turn back time but there is nothing I can do,” says Shaima.
She initially feared meeting people in a strange, new place but the families around her understood the conflict she’d fled. Shaima slowly started making friends and with support, her family and other families began to heal.
Shaima goes to school in the camp, has access to drinking water and participates in extracurricular activities. “I wake up at five or six in the morning. I bring a pan full of water inside. I heat the water because it is very cold from outside. Then, I check my homework before I go to school. I like school a lot because I get to learn different things,” says Shaima.
She finds healing in the daily routine of school and plays football in the World Vision league. “When I came here, World Vision encouraged me to play football. So now I like it and I’m not scared anymore,” says Shaima.
Shaima has built a new community in the camp where she feels comfortable and safe again. Due to the violence she witnessed, Shaima hopes to become a pediatrician to help other children heal.
Shaima laughs on a swing in one of our Child-Friendly Spaces.