Cathy travels to the Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan

This week, our fearless leader and managing director, Cathy Hayward, is in Jordan, at the Za’atari refugee camp just seven miles from the Syrian border – with Magenta’s corporate charity, Clowns Without Borders UK (CWBUK).

CWBUK works internationally in areas of crisis, natural disaster and conflict where individuals (particularly children) are in dire need of different forms of aid. The charity encourages the children to forget their troubles, and to laugh and play, through performances by trained clowns, acrobats, jugglers and other performers. It gives them back ‘the right to be a child’ and provides ‘psychosocial first aid’, which focuses on the human, practical and emotional side of recovery from trauma.

Cathy is on the board of trustees for the charity and the Magenta team supports them with pro bono comms and PR. She will be driving the team of clowns an hour each way to and from the camp and supporting the performers with the workshops they are running.

Fast facts about Za’atari refugee camp:

  • Za’atari is a refugee camp in Jordan, located 10km east of Mafraq, which is gradually evolving into a permanent settlement
  • The camp was first opened on 28 July 2012 to host Syrians fleeing the ongoing civil war that erupted in 2011
  • On 26 March 2015, the camp population was estimated at 83,000 refugees
  • 60 per cent of the camp’s population is under the age of 24
  • The camp features market-like structures along the main street (which has been nicknamed the Champs Elysee) and has become a renowned symbol of Syrian resourcefulness and entrepreneurship, where goods like vegetables, falafel, basic household equipment and clothes can be purchased

Standby for a round-up of the tour after Cathy has returned.

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Ben Keeley