Syrian children with the bags. Around 2,000 volunteers in the UAE came together to assemble the kits during Ramadan. Image Credit: Courtesy: Dubai Cares

Dubai: Dubai Cares has started distributing 50,000 school bags — packed during its volunteering initiative in Ramadan — to Syrian crisis-affected children in Jordan, in partnership with Save the Children.

The charity organisation had launched the ‘Back to School’ edition of its ‘Volunteer Emirates’ initiative in May, to support refugee children affected by the Syrian crisis.

In line with UAE’s ‘Year of Zayed’ initiative, Dubai Cares said its initiative has received overwhelming support from the UAE community, as around 2,000 volunteers from across the country came together to assemble the kits during Ramadan.

Abdulla Ahmad Al Shehhi, chief operating officer of Dubai Cares, said: “For children affected by the Syrian conflict, these school kits are not only important for them to start a new academic year, it gives a great push forward to keep delivering hope to the most marginalised and deprived children affected by emergencies and protracted crises. Through this initiative, we also hope to alleviate the already heavy financial burden on families affected by the Syrian crisis and living in Jordan, by giving children the necessary tools they need to learn and prosper.”

Khalil Hijazin, Save the Children Jordan’s development director, said: “We are very happy to cooperate again with Dubai Cares to improve children’s educational experience. This in-kind donation of backpacks by Dubai Cares not only ensures access to essential school supplies for thousands of children in need, but also complements our efforts that aim to encourage the enrolment of children in schools, by addressing one major barrier, which is the cost of stationery.”

According to a 2018 UNHCR report, Jordan had a recorded 657,628 registered Syrian refugees as of February 2018, with 51 per cent being children. Although 126,127 Syrian children were enrolled in public schools during the 2016–2017 academic year, 40 per cent of school-aged child refugees remain without an education.

In Jordan’s Za’atari refugee camp, which houses more than 80,000 Syrian refugees currently, around 25 per cent are 28,599 school-aged children who are out of school.