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Lattouf tours Zaatari camp’s oasis for women empowerment

By Ana V. Ibáñez Prieto - May 10,2018 - Last updated at May 10,2018

Social Development Minister Hala Lattouf tours UN Women oasis at Zaatari camp on Thursday (Photo by Ana V. Ibáñez Prieto)

ZAATARI REFUGEE CAMP — Social Development Minister Hala Lattouf on Thursday toured the Oasis Centre for Resilience and Empowerment of Women and Girls (OCREWG) established by UN Women at the Zaatari refugee camp.

The OCREWG is made up of three oases assisting some 16,000 Syrian refugees per year in generating income and increasing their engagement in the community. 

"I applaud the integrated approach of the UN Women’s model and its attention to all the areas of a woman's life — economic empowerment, violence prevention, remedial education as well as education opportunities for children,” Lattouf said, stressing that “the Social Development Ministry looks forward to identifying lessons learned and applying them to the ministry's community centres across the Kingdom to benefit more Jordanian women".

For his part, UN Women representative in Jordan Ziad Sheikh said, “UN women is working in close partnership with the Ministry of Social Development to continue supporting Syrian refugees and vulnerable Jordanian women with livelihood services designed to be translated into sustainable employment opportunities, and to integrate more coherently with remedial education and protection services.”

The three Zaatari oases have the “most substantial” female-focused cash for work programme, with 230 opportunities available for Syrian refugees in camp settings per day, according to a February statement by UN Women. 

"The work that the Oasis provides us with enables us to earn money for our families, especially for us women who are the sole providers of the house: it is incredibly important,” said Fadwa, a beneficiary of the programme. 

Lattouf also participated in a focus group meeting with several Syrian refugee women enrolled in the UN Women's cash-for-work programme, where she learned about the support services provided to facilitate refugees' engagement with work — such as childcare facilities and remedial education classes. 

The minister later visited various activity spaces offered in the Oasis, including a tailor workshop where refugee women can learn industrial focused skills while supporting their peers by producing 200 baby kits per month for newborns at the field’s hospitals.

The minister’s visit continued with a tour of Sama Al Badia, a women-led grassroots organisation based in Mafraq Governorate focusing on supporting vulnerable Jordanian girls through empowerment, education and health services centred on mitigating the impact of early marriage. 

Working in cooperation with the Association of Family and Childhood Protection Society of Irbid, the organisation improves the lives of many young girls and their families with the support of the Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Field — a partnership dedicated to the empowerment of women to become a force for crisis response and lasting peace.

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