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Refugee girls share their dreams for the future

Hana, 16 years old
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In a world where the only constant is upheaval and uncertainty, education can create a lifeline for girls. When girls are out of school, they are more vulnerable to violence, discrimination and exploitation, including child marriage and adolescent pregnancy.

And yet in times of crisis girls are 2.5 times more likely to be out of school than boys.

Plan International asked girls living in a refugee camp in Jordan about their hopes and dreams for the future. Some girls said they dream of becoming doctors, others told us they hope to be teachers one day.

Regardless of their aspirations, what connected their dreams was a clear and unwavering desire to stay in school and keep learning.

Meet six teenage girls who refuse to give up on their dreams:

Fatima* dreams of becoming a computer expert

Fatima
Fatima*, 14

“I only went to school for two years in Syria, and I hadn’t learnt to read or write yet. In the Azraq refugee camp, I went to school again. I used a computer properly for the first time and fell in love with computers. One can learn anything with a computer! I dream of becoming a computer expert who teaches others how to use a computer.”

Jamila* dreams of becoming an astronomer and an astronaut

Jamila
Jamila*, 16

“I dream of becoming an astronomer and an astronaut. In Syria, I never really noticed the stars. I used to watch action films at nights. When my family moved to the camp in the desert, I had nothing to do at night. We didn’t have electricity at first, so I would just sit outside and gaze at the stars. They shine so bright here! The Milky Way and the planets started to fascinate me. I want to become the first Syrian woman on the Moon.”

Hana* dreams of becoming a pediatrician

Hana
Hana*, 16

“I miss my hometown Damascus: its buildings, atmosphere and people. I feel like part of my soul remained in Syria four years ago when we left, and now there’s an empty space in me. I dream of feeling free. I want to feel like a normal person who can go whenever she wants.

Even as a small child, I wondered why some children have no hair. When I heard it was because of chemotherapy, I wanted to help them. I want to become a pediatrician and specialize in oncology. Maybe I will become so good that I will find a revolutionary cure for cancer.”

Iman* dreams of becoming a doctor

Iman
Iman*, 7

“My dream is to become a doctor, because I want to help others. I had to go to a hospital once, but the doctor didn’t find any disease in me – I simply hadn’t eaten enough vitamins. One of my biggest dreams is to have proper food.

I miss my large family. I dream of being reunited with them and having fun.”

Hayat* dreams of becoming a math teacher

Hayat
Hayat*, 14

“We lived like prisoners in Aleppo, Syria. My mother wouldn’t let me and my three brothers out, not even to go to school. I never saw my friends.

We came here about a year ago. Although the circumstances are harsh, I feel safe in the camp. I have made friends, and it feels great to walk to school with them, do homework and play on our phones.

I dream of becoming a maths teacher, because I love numbers. I also dream of returning to Syria when the war is over.”

Nadira* dreams of becoming an English teacher

Nadira
Nadira*, 13

“We escaped from Homs hidden inside a truck three years ago. I miss my school and my friends. Many of them are living as refugees in Lebanon. I don’t know how they are doing. I dream of seeing my best friends again.

I want to become an English teacher. My own teacher motivates me by being so supportive. I am the best in my class, which makes me want to practice harder, even though I can only say “I am Nadira” at the moment.

Plan International supports refugee families in the refugee camp of Azraq and East Amman in Jordan.

* Names have been changed to protect identities

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