First Person

Photos of the week: The children of Zaatari camp

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Photo: Caroline Gluck/Oxfam
Photo: Caroline Gluck/Oxfam

Above, girls collect water from a tap stand in Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan. Below, a boy plays on a street where families hang their laundry.

Zaatari is now home to more than 100,000 refugees from the conflict in Syria. According to UNICEF, half of those refugees are children.

With 2,500 to 3,000 Syrians crossing into Jordan each day, Zaatari is now equivalent in size to the fifth-largest city in Jordan. Fifty thousand people arrived in February alone. Oxfam is helping more than 20,000 refugees in the camp by installing water taps and storage towers, latrines, showers, and laundry areas.

Zaatari camp, Jordan
Photo: Caroline Gluck/Oxfam

“We’re surrounded by children for most of the day. We walk together, we eat together, we share stories and dreams,” said Farah al-Basha, an Oxfam engineer working in Zaatari. “When the time comes to leave the camp … We’re thinking about how lovely a shower will be, but [then] the kids come and say ‘see you tomorrow’ and we close the doors with a big smile. … We start thinking about what can we do next for those kids.”

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