Jordanian Princess commits to support children in Mahama refugee camp.

Wednesday 9 November 2016

Princess Sarah Zeid of Jordan recently visited Mahama Refugee Camp in Rwanda, the home to 50,000 Burundian refugees, half of them children.  Princess Zeid comforted children who fled the Burundi political insecurity unaccompanied or separated from their parents, "I know it is hard for you to live in this camp without your families but I hope you are strong. I live in a country where I meet many people including headquarters of these organisations, we will keep advocating for you.”

Princess Sarah signs the visitors' book after her visit to Mahama Refugee Camp.

Addressing the refugees, the Princess said the role of a woman in a family, the wellbeing of children and the community at large cannot be overestimated. “Children are the future to our communities’ wellbeing and health. We came to speak about children’s participation, the leadership that is required from children and their willingness to use their voices to talk about their specific needs,” said Zeid.

 Princess Zeid interacted with children and women at the child protection services. Zeid is a Goodwill Ambassador to the UNHCR and her specific areas of intervention are reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health. Zeid was part of the high level UNHCR delegation on an official 5-day visit from October 23 invited to discuss refugees-welfare issues including relocation of Burundian refugees from Rwanda to a third country.

 Princess Zeid described the relationship between the Government of Rwanda and humanitarian agencies in the camp as positive and cooperative. “It is exciting to see the livelihoods projects put in place by Save the Children. I visited women refugees who were weaving the most beautiful products and to be able to have the dignity to use their skills is encouraging,” she said.

Princess Zeid at one of Livelihood projects that equips refugees with life and entrepreneurship skills to promote self-reliance among refugees.

 Stressing the importance of the weaving project by women refugees in Mahama Camp, the Minister for Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs, Seraphine Mukantabana, noted that they are going to extend Save the Children Livelihood initiative to the other camps through the livelihood strategy. There are around 160,000 refugees in six refugee camps in the country and, apart from Mahama, the other camps are hosting Congolese refugees. “It will be a huge project which needs more support both in funding and finding a market for the products that they will be making,” said Minister Mukantabana.

 The meeting in Kigali was attended by among others, Volker Tür, the UNHCR’s Assistant High Commissioner in charge of refugee protection and Rwanda’s Minister for Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs, Seraphine Mukantabana.

 At Mahama Camp, Save the Children in Rwanda is supporting the most deprived and vulnerable in areas of Child Protection, Community Services, Health and Nutrition, Livelihoods and Education for Out-of-School Children and Youth.