Drop-In Center: Shaping Hani’s Personality

Sunday 4 October 2015

“It feels good to build sculptures out of materials and scraps that seem useless.” Hani said.


“I don’t want to remember what happened in Syria, I just want to have friends and talk about good and beautiful things,” 15 year-old Hani said.

When the violent events in Syria escalated, Hani was forced to drop out of school and flee to Za’atari camp along with his family three years ago. “At the beginning I was lost, I used to sit at home doing nothing, so I started working, I transported gravel by wheelbarrow and also sold vegetables in the camp to help with the household needs.” Hani said. Studies have found that 13% of children in Za’atari camp are working, which means over 4,000 children are involved in labor. Only 1/4 of working children attend school, of which only 2/3 attend regularly.

Hani heard about Save the Children Drop-in Center (DIC) through outreach conducted by community mobilizers in Za’atari. “The DIC literally changed my life, I couldn’t go to school because of work, but since I started going to the DIC I was able to rest from work and just enjoy my time in the company of friends,” Hani said.

The DIC was established in Za’atari camp for children engaged in labor providing them with psychosocial support and recreational activities where children can ‘drop in’ at any time of day to play or practice an activity. At the center, the children are provided with informal education activities and craft making, to give them a sense of normality and to build bonds with the community, which they live in. The children engage in activities that have an educational and awareness aspect to benefit the children from teaching them the basic educational methods to learning about child rights. 

Bader, a social worker at the DIC said, “I remember when he first came to the DIC, he used to be very quiet and isolated from the children around him, now he is a very active child and a smart one as well.” Hani’s attitude has improved through the three years he spent in the DIC according to the staff who work with him and the other children.