On World Refugee Day in 2018, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported that over 65 million refugees were forcibly displaced from their homes across the world due to war, violence, and persecution.
Syrians continue to be the largest displaced population across the world with over 12 million refugees in 2016. In Jordan, over 660,000 Syrian refugees are trapped in exile. According to USA for UNHCR, approximately 80% of Syrian refugees live outside camps, while more than 140,000 found safety at the Za’atari and Azraq refugee camps.
While finding play areas accessible to children who have disabilities is already challenging in a peaceful urban environment, imagine what it’s like to be completely deprived of the simple joys of childhood in a refugee camp.
In hopes of inspiring the world and shedding light on the importance of inclusion, the Za’atari refugee camp has gone the extra mile to build a playground accommodating children of all abilities. Built by Mercy Corps, a partner of the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), an inclusive playground suitable for children with disabilities along with able-bodied children was erected. In an interview with Associated Press, UNICEF’s Jordan representative Robert Jenkins said the playground was the very first of its kind in the world to be built in a refugee camp.