Omar was in the 6th grade when he left Syria with his family. They left their home and all their belongings in Dara’a, Syria and travelled across the border to Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan.
“I was happy in Dara’a with all my relatives around me. Dara’a is a nice place to live in, but unfortunately we had to leave [because of the conflict].”
Omar dropped out of school once he entered the camp.
He started working in a small restaurant, cleaning and clearing tables and performing odd jobs for the owner.
“Back then, I was never interested in my future. All that mattered was earning money to support my family,” says Omar.
“I worked while I should have been at school learning” says Omar.
Omar continued to work doing different jobs for five years.
RI’s outreach team learned of Omar’s situation and approached him to discuss the Drop-out program.
The Drop-out program, which was only possible with financial support from UNICEF, was designed for young people who had been out of school for more than a year to get back into education and complete high school.
Omar agreed to enroll immediately. “The staff’s level of enthusiasm attracted me the most,” he says of his first interaction with RI.
Omar graduated from the Drop-out program in 2020, but his engagement with RI did not stop there.
He applied to take part in RI’s Livelihoods program, a new training opportunity which focuses on helping participants to develop job skills.
The program was perfect for Omar because he could take part in the training while continuing to work at the same time.
“I’m astonished by this program. RI got trainers who taught us a lot about work, e-marketing, ethics and soft skills.”
Omar took part in two specific workshops: one focused on sewing; and the other on e-marketing. Two days a week for four months, Omar attended these training sessions until he finally passed both workshops.
Now he uses the skills he developed in a new job at a tailoring shop. “I like sewing. I will integrate RI’s trainings into my work to become a successful tailor.”
He also has big dreams for the future.
“Right now, I’m saving money to hopefully open my own tailoring shop in the future!”
Relief International in Jordan
RI has worked in Jordan since 2004.
Currently, our programs focus on education; providing courses in reading, language, science, writing and math to thousands of Syrian adolescents and young adults.