Bahrain opens school for Syrian refugees
Manama, November 26, 2012
Bahrain has received backing from the United Nations after opening a school to help educate the children of Syrian refugees who fled to Jordan, said a report.
Thousands are expected to benefit from the $4 million facility, which was officially opened by Royal Charity Organisation (RCO) Board of Trustees Chairman Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa yesterday, a report in the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication, said.
The 4,600-sqm school is located in Amman at the Zaatari Camp, where around 41,000 Syrians who have fled the 20-month-long civil war are now staying.
United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (Unicef) representative in Jordan Dominique Isabelle Hyde described the facility as the best in the camp.
"These children have troubled memories and getting them into a quiet stable environment helps them get back to normal and draws their focus away from the living environment around them which is all thanks to Bahrain," she said.
The school has a capacity of 4,200 and already has 3,500 registered children after opening unofficially on October 1.
Syrian children holding balloons lined up to greet Shaikh Nasser as he arrived to open the school, in the presence of RCO officials and journalists from Bahrain.
"I am honoured and pleased to be in this school," he said as he toured the camp. "I was surprised that in such a quick time, in only 40 days, this school was built and the children have already begun receiving their education," he remarked.
"In the short time I have been here I have seen what kind of education they have here. This place is giving them hope and ambition for the future," he added.
Shaikh Nasser said it was the responsibility of Bahrain and its neighbouring countries to help each other in times of need. "This is the nature of the world," he said.
"You need brothers to stand beside you when you fall down and that is what Bahrain is doing. They have been there for us in the past and if there is another disaster we will be there for them in the future but I hope nothing will happen," he observed.
Hyde said up to 60,000 children can be based in the camp at any one time as many Syrians use it to drop off their loved ones while they return to check on their homes and businesses.
"After this school reaches capacity, Unicef will build another school. But this one will be entirely funded by Unicef, not to mention we will continue to pay the teachers' salaries and provide the running costs for the existing school," she said.
"That is going to happen sooner than we thought as we expect this school to reach capacity in about two weeks."
The school was built following orders by His Majesty King Hamad to support Syrian refugees and their children.-TradeArabia News Service