Zaatari Camp youth taskforce celebrates int’l youth day

The Youth Taskforce (YTF) in the Zaatari Camp for Syrian refugees in northern Jordan on Wednesday organized in cooperation with UNFPA-Jordan and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) a virtual celebration of the International Youth Day (IYD), which falls on August 12 each year.


The event hosted youth activists in the Zaatari Camp to shed light on their positive and active participation in the camp during COVID-19 response.


This year’s IYD theme highlights youth engagement on the global, national and local levels, in line with the Global Compact for young people in Humanitarian Action, which was launched in Jordan on the 29th of June 2020. The global compact capitalizes on youth participation investment during crisis, which makes COVID-19 no different.


The virtual event brought together a number of key speakers and participants, among whom were Canada’s ambassador to Jordan, and all 17 member organizations (UN agencies and NGOs). In addition to the participation of a number of donor agencies, humanitarian actors in the camp, as well as active youth members from the Zaatari Camp, and lastly community members from the camp.


In welcoming remarks, Enshrah Ahmed, Head of UNFPA-Jordan office, stressed that Youth in Zaatari Camp provides inspirational examples on youth active participation in COVID-19 response and more.


UNFPA and its commitment to The Compact for Young People in Humanitarian Action works on providing live examples for effective participation, by supporting youth committees, youth coordination, and youth leadership in co-designing our programs and proposals where possible, she said.


NRC Country Director, Muriel Tschopp, highlighted the importance of working together to support platforms and create opportunities where young people can play an active role in humanitarian response.


Irene Omondi, Head of Mafraq Office, and UNHCR Camp Manager, said: “It is essential that we recognize the essential work that the youth have done during the pandemic, being fully present, they are our key partners. With over 50% of the population being youth and young people, we need to affirm our commitment to ensure the support they need to realize their dreams and aspirations.”


Donica Pottie, Canada’s ambassador to Jordan, highlighted her countyry’s partnership with UNFPA, both in Jordan and globally, and commended the youth of Zaatari for their work to bring their creativity and ideas together to address their issues of concern.


The first item on the Virtual IYD 2020 agenda was the announcement of a series of films “Compact for Young People”, and premiered “Youth Participation in Zaatari Camp” short film. It showcased mechanisms of youth engagement in the camp during COVID-19 pandemic, and associated challenges namely during the “lockdown” period, and how it propelled innovative ideas from the youth themselves.


A panel discussion with active youth members from Zaatari Camp was conducted to further speak about challenges, their experience under COVID-19 and answer their peers’ queries during the Q andA session later on. Hajar Al Masri, a Syrian volunteer at Blumont said: “This event is extremely important, as it gives us the opportunity to highlight success stories, so they can be a source of inspiration to other youth”.


The ceremony saw the screening of a short film titled “Youth resilience under COVID-19”, which was directed and shot by youths and received the acclaim of the virtual audience.


Source: Jordan News Agency

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