Hamed: Planting the Seeds of Normalcy

Wednesday 13 January 2016

“I love the colour green, the football field is green, plants are green” Hamed said. – Save the Children – Hassan HijaziHamed is a15 year old refugee from Dara’a. In 2013 he fled Syria with his family to Jordan to seek safety and they have lived in Zaatari refugee camp since then. The family had to escape after Hamed’s cousin was killed by an air raid over their hometown. “I loved my cousin very much, I remember we used to play football and he was a very good player, he’s the one who really made me love football,” Hamed said. The shelling also killed two of Hamed’s friends.

After arriving at Zaatari refugee camp, Hamed and his family had to adapt to the new camp environment of living in tents. The family conveniently lives beside one of Save the Children’s multi-activity centres (MAC). A community mobilizer came to their tent and told them about the MAC and the activities offered. “When I heard him talking about a football field in the centre, I immediately went there and started exploring the centre,” Hamed said.

Save the Children and UNICEF established and run four multi-activity centres in Zaatari refugee camp. This provides a safe place for adolescents and youth in the camp to play, make friends and learn new skills such as agriculture. The center also provides psycho-social activities to help them build resilience.

Hamed is a committed football player, he always comes to the centre and practices to improve his skills and technique. Besides playing football, Hamed took part in the healing through arts (HEART) programme, and took lessons in photography and agriculture. “I started to plant small crops around our tent and monitored their growth by capturing pictures, combined with playing football at the centre, this keeps my day filled with activities that make me feel happy and useful” Hamed said.

A photo of the plants and football field at the centre taken by Hamed.