It’s 10 o’clock in the morning and Noor is heading towards CRP’s childcare to drop off her daughter, Sara. Noor just started attending CRP’s beauty class two months ago. Having someone to look after her 3-year old is crucial: “I always have her with me, everywhere I go. I could not let her alone at home when I go out, it wouldn’t be safe,” she says.
At first, Noor hesitated to give Sara to CRP’s childcare center. “I was worried,” she says. It was actually Sara who insisted. “She said she wants to go out, she really wants to go, so in the end I took her.”
Every morning and afternoon session is structured the same way, Lubna explains. First the kids arrive and play a little on their own, then they have a few minutes of wake-up-exercise outside. Now they are ready for the learning part. In the small room, or on warm days outside, the kids group around a table and start learning: letters, numbers, the seasons; or how to distinguish healthy from unhealthy food.
“We have this Whatsapp group with all the mothers and staff members where they share what the kids are doing. Here they are playing in the courtyard,” Noor says, showing me a video of five kids playing jumping jacks. (Whatsapp is a chat texting tool that many people in our community use for communication). “I like it because I can see what the kids are doing and how well they are treated. they get sandwiches for lunch and juice and milk. and play games that they enjoy. It’s really nice to see.” Now, Noor brings Sara here three times a week, while she spends her time at the beauty class.
Refugee families in Jordan have often lost their social support network, family and friends who could take care of children when their parents are busy. Other child care facilities in the neighbourhood all cost money, something refugee families mostly can’t afford.
“I can’t leave my 3-year-old boy old at home,” says Zenah, who also participates in the beauty class. “Also, at home there is nothing he can play with or learn from,” she says. “Here, the center provides a space for them to learn and play, and they meet children from other religions or nationalities.” This, Zenah hopes, will help the younger generation overcome discrimination and prejudices so many refugees in Jordan are suffering from. “The daycare is a lot of help for us,” says Zenah. “We wouldn’t been able to attend the activities without it.”
At the end of the day, it’s playtime. The kids put on their shoes–not so easy to distinguish between right and left–and run outside in the small courtyard. “Football is definitely their favorite play,” says Lubna, throwing the ball for one of the boys who starts running after it. They have half an hour, until their moms pick them up again.
CRP’s childcare facility provides a space for children, allowing them to learn and grow while providing their mothers with the opportunity to engage in activities for themselves. We originally launched the program with support raised during our Spring fundraising campaign. Targeted funds from that campaign set us up with enough money to keep the program running until the end of the year.
We now need to turn to monthly donors to keep our childcare program going strong in 2019. That means we need to increase the amount of money monthly donations bring to CRP so that this program can continue sustainably.
And great news! When you sign up as monthly this week, a group of generous donors will gift CRP $100! Sign up here to support women like Noor and Zenah and their kids. $5/month will support an hour of childcare. $35/month will support a whole day (up to 50 kids on some days!) of childcare.