New York: Film star Liam Neeson has said that he was impressed by the strength and spark of the Syrian children after visiting the Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan as part of his advocacy work as the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Goodwill Ambassador.
“Every person has a story of loss and of witnessing horrific violence that no one – least of all a child – should ever have to see,” said Neeson in a Press release.
“I truly admire the strength and spark of the children I met, the girls in particular. They want to be doctors, lawyers, police officers and engineers so that when they can go back to Syria they can rebuild their country. It is incredibly inspiring to see how education so empowers them. I will never forget them,” he said.
Neeson, a Goodwill Ambassador since 2011, is well known for his role as Oskar Schindler in Steven Spielberg’s 1993 Best Picture Oscar winner Schindler’s List.
He wrapped up a two-day visit to Jordan this week, along with his eldest son Michael, where they met with Syrian children, young people and their families whose lives have been greatly affected by the conflict – now close to its sixth year.
With a population of around 80,000, Za’atari is the largest Syrian refugee camp in the world, a short drive from the Syrian border. UNICEF and partners are providing life-saving support through vaccinations, medicines, clean water, sanitation, and opportunities for children and youth to get an education and learn skills for their future.
During the two-day visit, Neeson met girls and boys at a UNICEF-supported school and a Makani (My space in Arabic) centre that provides learning and psychosocial support services to children and youth, and most importantly a sense of normalcy to lives that are far from normal.
He also visited a Syrian family in their two-room shelter that is home to a family of five. Like so many other families who have come to Jordan or neighbouring countries, the little savings they had are gone, and life is becoming increasingly difficult.
“It was really great to have Liam Neeson meet vulnerable children and youth affected by the Syrian refugee crisis in Jordan,” said the UNICEF Representative, Robert Jenkins. “We are grateful for his commitment in helping us amplify the voices of millions of Syrian children and youth, who, despite the protracted conflict, remain incredibly resilient and hopeful.”
Image Courtesy: UNICEF/Christopher Herwig
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