Save the Children – Preschool Education and Women’s Empowerment in Jordan

Save the Children has been present in Jordan since 1985 and since 2012 has focused on enhancing access to pre-school education and early childhood care and development services in the Za’atari and Azraq Refugee Camps, which have been challenged over time by the constant influx of Syrian refugees.

Indeed, Jordan is the third largest country in the world to receive Syrian refugees, after Turkey and Lebanon. According to UNHCR data from February 2023, about 135,000 of the 660,000 Syrian refugees in the country live in refugee camps. Half of them are minors, many of whom were born there and have never seen anything but the camp.

The influx of Syrian refugees into the country has severely challenged the national pre-school education, the early childhood care and the development services. Another issue is the low economic participation rate of women, attributed to the lack of quality and affordable childcare services.

Pre-School education

The programme plans to help improve the previous aspects by supporting four kindergartens in the refugee camps, covering the running costs, the provision of teaching materials and the daily distribution of healthy snacks. The kindergartens also house nurseries to provide support for the youngest children.

Moreover, the organisation trains the staff to ensure inclusive education for children with disabilities and implement approaches that aim to maximise the children’s learning potential. Staff provide them with the support they need to develop their motor, language, alphabet, numeracy skills, and social-emotional development.

In addition, efforts are made to make families aware of the value and importance of educating children, supporting parents to apply the approaches learned at home as well.

These activities were implemented with two approaches:

  • the Building Brains approach, i.e. training parents in positive parenting and teachers and educators in early learning stimulation
  • the Ready to Learn approach, i.e. training teachers and educators in teaching the basics of mathematics and reading.

The project started in 2014 and will end in 2025.

Female-led social enterprise

The project also focuses on the creation of a female-led social enterprise model to counter the low economic participation of women, attributed to the lack of affordable and quality childcare services. Save the Children specifically supports a Social Enterprise run by Jordanian women and active in the pre-school education sector by offering salary and further training.

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