Today the students of 3/4J watched an Australian news story about an Australian doing so much for the refugees in Jordan. He is an inspiration and is one of the founders of Camp Zaatari. Zaatari is currently housing 80,000 refugees. Mr Harper works for the United Nations.
After watching the documentary the students wrote descriptions of the camp and about Andrew. After seeing their hard work I made the decision to see of we could tweet their wonderings to Mr Harper and see if he would answer their questions.
After tweeting the questions a message came through from Jordan. Mr Harper had read our tweets and was going to answer our questions. This was the first tweet we received.
Andrew Harper @And_Harper Amman, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
@JoyceBronwyn hi everyone. Why don’t you DM me the questions and I will get back to you ASAP. Good luck!!!
Here are the answers to your questions 3/4J:
We have 5 hospitals and health clinics… Some focus on dealing w general issues, others injuries from war and some maternity.
There are approximately 10 babies born every day at the camp.
While the current population is around 80,000, at its peak there were 130,000. During the height of the emergency we would have 3,000 to 4,000 arriving per night – having escaped the bombing inside Syria. Some refugees stay in the camp for a couple of days before moving out – others have stayed for almost 4 years. The total that have entered the camp is close to 450,000 (so 370,000 have since left to find accommodation elsewhere).
We were asked to build Zaatri by the Jordanian government. We had 10 days to get ready. The camp is only 15 kms from
the Syrian border so people were bused.
Zaatri is like a large city so we are always making improvements – so it will
Never be complete. Hopefully refugees will be able to return to their homes – which is all they ever want to do.
I am travelling to Azraq camp at the moment which is where all new arrivals are being sent to. The journey from the border is much tougher and can take days through the desert. While the camps keep people alive, refugees are just like us and want to do as much as possible. They want to study, work and travel.
I work for UNHCR as you cannot get any closer to helping people who are in absolute need and make an impact. Today we will receive another 500 refugees who have been trapped in the desert for months. I’m proud of the team that we have who work in the most horrible situations but never complain.
Tyrone can help by caring for those who have less than we do. That could be in Australia or in Syria. Everyone has the choice to make a positive difference or not – the challenge is whether they are bothered to do it or wish to take the easy route.
Mr Harper left us this homework to do:
Our team in Ruwayshid… get your class to look for this on the map. Hint. It is on the road from Zarqa to Baghdad but in Jordan.