Samer’s Speech: Communicating Effectively through Learn and Play

Sunday 23 August 2015

 “My seven year old son had a speech problem due to birth complications. Everyone had trouble understanding what he was trying to say; which made him angry and violent,” Rama said, the mother of six year old Samer.


A shortage of oxygen during birth affected Samer’s brain, which has caused him to stutter when speaking. The whole family has been living in Za’atari camp for the past three years, where they found refuge after escaping the violence in Syria.

“I once woke up on Samer screaming in the middle of the night because of a nightmare he was having, I couldn’t understand what he wanted, as he couldn’t express his feelings, this event happened multiple times,” Samer’s father said.

A Save the Children social worker approached Samer’s parents during the beginning of their stay in the camp and explained the concept of the Child Family Center (CFC) established by Save the Children and UNICEF. “Samer was really excited about going to learn, play and making new friends,” Rama said. CFCs are providing quality education and protection services to assist the healing process of children from physical and psychosocial harm, directly promoting to their cognitive, social and emotional wellbeing.

“I learned how to read and write, the best part of my day is when I go there and play with my friends, today I helped the teachers paint the wall and make masks from recycled plastic plates,” Samer said. During the three years that Samer attended the CFC; Save the Children team closely monitored his progress. “Learning the alphabet and being around other children significantly improved his speaking, now we can understand most of what he says,” Rama said. Samer is starting elementary school this year, and is really excited to share with his new classmates what he has learned at the CFC.