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Meet Faisal

"I'm a ninja!"

Faisal jumps for joy!

Faisal jumps for joy!

"I like Batman and Robin. I want to be like them, so I can fly."

Faisal* belongs to a generation born and raised thousands of miles from home. He's an ordinary five-year-old kid. And that's what makes him so special.

His family fled bombs in Syria six years ago, and their bouncing boy was born in Za'atari camp, Jordan. Life here isn't easy for children, but it seems nothing can keep Faisal from spreading his wings.

"At home I play hide and seek and jump from the furniture like I can fly," he chirps.

Faisal attends our early learning centre in the camp. He'll be starting school next year, so we're making sure he's ready to hit the ground running.

"At the centre I draw and write and go on the slide," he says. "I paint! I paint everything! Especially bears."

But the centre also gives Faisal a safe space to use up his endless energy. He can chat, bash the tambourine, swing on the monkey bars, build forts, and come up with his next big idea.

"I hide under the cushions, then I tell a story about a rabbit to my baby sister: Once upon a time, there was a father rabbit and a mother rabbit, and they had babies. The end. The other story is about two turtles, a mother and a father. And three baby turtles, and one of them wears make-up."

We support children like Faisal so they can just be children, and make sure what happens next is up to him, not his circumstances. Because Faisal’s a refugee. But he’s so much more.

*Name changed to protect identity.

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faisal and his brother bilal playing with the teddy he brought from syria

Faisal was born a refugee. But his brother, Bilal, remembers the home he left behind in Syria. The brothers often play with the teddy bear Bilal brought from Syria – one of his most treasured possessions.

"When he's happy I'm happy as well" - Bilal

Faisal and Bilal are really close. They play-fight, read, build forts, play with toys and run races together. "I let Faisal win, because when he’s happy I am happy as well,” Bilal says.

But Bilal is also very protective of Faisal. He takes him to our early learning centre every day on the family bike, and then cycles him home again. 

Faisal and a Save the Children worker read a book together at the Early Learning Centre

Faisal and a Save the Children worker read a book together at the Early Learning Centre.

"I write and draw and go on the slide"

Faisal was enrolled at a Save the Children early learning centre, which he loves. His mother Zahra says he has become even more energetic, but also that he now knows how to share what he’s learnt with his siblings.

Save the Children runs three Early Learning Centres in Za’atari, providing early childhood care and development for refugee children to support them ahead of their transition to primary education.

Their stories, their words