venerdì, settembre 02, 2011


Jordan: Iraqi refugees going to school with help from Christians

By Spero News, Friday, September 02, 2

The Jesuit Refugee Service Jordan marked its third anniversary in the country with thirteen graduation ceremonies for students in its informal education project, held in the capital, Amman, in late July.
More than 280 students, comprising refugees mainly from Iraq, a small number from Palestine and Sudan, and a smattering of marginalised Jordanians, received their certificates.
The JRS non-formal education project is located at the Greek Melkite School in Ashrafiyeh, Amman. Each year the school provides classes to over 1,400 refugees. On a daily basis, 350 students attend classes for three hours from Monday to Thursday.
The graduation ceremony coincided with a visit to the region by the International Director, Peter Balleis SJ.
In a brief opening speech at the ceremony, commenting on the development of the Amman project, he said he was impressed with how much the school had grown and how much the true sense of family had emerged since its inception in the summer of 2008.
"I'm grateful for the English skills I've learned at the JRS school, but I'm more grateful for the sense of community I've found", explained one of the students, who recently got a job at the US Embassy in Amman as a English-Kurdish translator.

Building inclusive communities
"Iraq won't be rebuilt by the elite; today's ceremony was a representation of what Iraq could be one day", JRS Jordan Director, Colin Gilbert said enthusiastically as he raised his voice to be heard above the vibrant dabke folk music to which everyone was dancing.
"Today's ceremony was a mixture of people from different religions and social classes; eating, sharing their accomplishments and celebrating together. There was a very strong sense of belonging, one that gives me hope for the future re-establishment of a peaceful society in Iraq one day", he added.
More than 70 percent of the students are between 15-70 years of age and participate in the English language and computer courses. The curriculum also includes art, music, and English language classes for 8-15 year olds and a kindergarten for 3-7 year olds. In terms of gender, 60 percent of the students are female.
The fourteenth cycle of informal education courses begins in early September and lasts until November 2011.
This time more students have enrolled than ever before.

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