1001 Meals Launches in Zaatari Refugee Camp
Fun activities and healthy meals to help improve children’s wellbeing
In April 2019, 1001 Meals initiative kicked off its activities for children in the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan. The 1001 Meals team is especially excited to launch activities for the first time in Zaatari, the world’s largest Syrian refugee camp. Around 80,000 people live in the Camp, including approximately 18,500 children who are enrolled in the Camp’s 32 schools.
A glimpse of life at Zaatari refugee camp: makeshift houses and schools as well as retail shops run by refugees who strive to replicate the normal life they had left behind.
The 1001 Meals initiative, a partnership between the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and 1001 Inventions organisation, aims to inspire creativity, curiosity and hope among refugee children deprived of crucial opportunities for meaningful engagement to support their physical, emotional and intellectual wellbeing.
1001 Meals team transform makeshift classrooms, originally with no electricity, into an inspiring space for the children to enjoy an exciting educational experience. Thousands of children are introduced to stories of lesser-known pioneers from a historical golden age of science and innovation that occurred in the Middle East.
Children enjoying their movie theatre experience in makeshift classrooms that are originally with no electricity.
For this phase of the project, 1001 Meals engaged with children in two primary schools. Children join an exciting journey starting with a movie theater experience watching short educational films. They then engage with science demonstrations carried out by trained 1001 Meals science explainers and participate in hands-on activities. Towards the end of their journey, students receive a 1001 Inventions children’s book so they could continue their learning and exploration beyond 1001 Meals activities.
1001 Meals science explainer, Aya, shows a class of primary school boys at Zaatari Syrian refugee camp how light bends when it enters water using the straw experiment.
Boys and girls excited to meet Ibn al-Haytham and receive the 1001 Inventions book at the end of their 1001 Meals journey.
Each 1001 Meals event combines fun educational experiences produced by 1001 Inventions coupled with WFP nutritious meals prepared by Syrian women working in WFP’s ‘Healthy Kitchens’. In the Zaatari camp, four Healthy Kitchens provide students attending formal schools at the camp with nutritious meals. ‘Healthy Kitchens’ also offer employment opportunities for women in the Camp helping thousands of households in Zaatari, especially those that are female-headed.
Syrian refugee women as they pack school meals at one of Zaatari camp WFP Healthy Kitchens.
1001 Meals also supports refugees in Zaatari through providing them with employment and capacity-building training to improve their skills and prepare them for future work opportunities they might receive in the Camp as well as when they return to their home country.
Ma’rouf, one of the Syrian refugees in Zaatari supporting the implementation of the 1001 Meals activities.
1001 Meals launched its activities at Azraq refugee camp in Jordan and has so far engaged with 10,000 children who benefit from the WFP school meals programme. As part of 1001 Inventions partnership with WFP, 1001 Meals will continue to engage Syrian children at Zaatari and Azraq refugee camps to improve wellbeing by providing nutritious meals coupled with exciting learning experiences. More stories from the 1001 Meals activities in refugee camps coming soon!
To support the initiative, download the ShareTheMeal app on your smartphone (select to join the “#1001Meals” Team) and with just a tap you can donate US$0.50 to "share the meal" with a child in need.
#1001Meals / www.1001meals.org
About United Nations World Food Programme
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), the largest humanitarian organization saving lives and changing lives worldwide, provide food assistance to more than 90 million people in 84 countries annually by delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. In addition to their efforts in relief and rehabilitation, development aid and special operations.
Since 1964, WFP has been present in Jordan working with the Jordanian government, as well as international and local organizations, to create economic and livelihood opportunities for food insecure and vulnerable communities.
WFP’s operations have also supported the government in providing food assistance for half a million Syrian refugees in camps and in the host community. WFP has also been offering vocational training opportunities and on-the-job training to develop human capacities and improve employability for targeted vulnerable Jordanians and allow the opportunity for the current influx of Syrians to be self-sufficient.
About 1001 Inventions
1001 Inventions is an award-winning, British based organization that creates international educational campaigns and engaging transmedia productions aiming to raise awareness of the contributions to innovation, technology and culture from the golden age of science in Muslim Civilisation.
1001 Inventions has engaged with over 400 million people across the globe working with a network of international partners, including UNESCO, National Geographic and leading academics to produce interactive exhibits, short films, live shows, books and classroom learning materials that are being used by hundreds of thousands of educators around the world.