After having started the day late, we got lost in Zaatari. Our driver did not know where we were supposed to go for our workshop. We went to numerous child centres at the camp, until at last we were told we were expected.
But we had been expecting some mothers and youths. Instead we were greeted by about 40 boys, shouting and bursting with energy. Time to start improvising!
So we decided to play games with them. Luckily we had some very helpful Save the Children staff members who helped us divide the kids into groups.
These boys are scruffy, with dirty clothes, and hair unkept, dirty noses, but when they smile their entire face lights up. They are so innocent and cute. There are some though that never smile, and just look at you sadly.
After playing some ice breaker games we proceeded with doing arts. The idea was for everyone to draw what made them happy and what they hoped for their futures.
Most boys wanted to be pilots or join the army. There were a few that could write English words, which they showed us proudly, One boy, Mohammed wanted to know how we spelt our names. A few boys kept telling us “nice to meet you” and “what’s your name”.
Finally we made it to the meditation. At first it was difficult to get the kids to quieten down, they all kept giggling. But after doing the realization exercise, there was a moment of silence, where the boys were actually meditating, that went on for a few minutes. Us girls were quite surprised, cause you could see they were feeling something, the experience was real.
Once we were done, the boys all wanted to have their photo taken. Perfect for us as their faces had an added glow. These boys have nothing, yet their expressions are so heart warming.
Next stop: not mothers and teens… but 53 little girls. Who ever said girls are calmer than boys got it all wrong. These girls were full of energy. The staff divided them into groups and each group had an older girl looking after the little girls. When we asked them to draw what makes them happy, or what they want for their future, nearly all the girls drew a school with the flag of Syria. One group had a daisy chain of people holding hands.
The meditation exercise was also a bit tricky with the girls, but once again some of them really got it. You could see from their faces that they were meditating and experiencing silence of some kind. And nearly all the girls felt a cool or warm breeze.
Once again at the end, we were bombarded with requests to take photos. Anjani found herself carrying a baby and surrounded by little girls, all smiling and doing peace signs with their hands.
Somehow the sessions just seem to fly by! Working with these children is so much fun and so rewarding. They leave an imprint in your heart.