The These Inspiring Girls Enjoy Reading (TIGER) project empowers girls and boys through learning, innovation, teamwork, and entrepreneurship. With support from UNHCR, the TIGER project has reached hundreds of young refugees in Za’atari Camp.
Before joining the TIGER girls, 13-year-old Rama was not sure what exactly she would get out of the program. Now, in addition to having fun with friends, she is helping bring together girls from across the TIGER programs at Za’atari Camp and creating campaigns to help better the community. With support and mentorship from coaches and teachers, TIGER girls like Rama are learning and leading in the classroom and on sports fields at Za’atari Camp.
As a taekwondo enthusiast, Rama’s dream was to meet the Jordanian Taekwondo champion Dana Haidar. She had the opportunity to meet her hero in 2018 when the TIGER team invited Haidar to visit Za’atari Camp.
After this visit, Rama decided she wanted to compete herself one day. Earlier this year, Rama won an award for her Taekwondo performance in the TIGER’s Got Talent show the group put on.
Recently, Rama and fellow TIGER girls Batool and Yamama brought their talents to a broader audience when they participated in the international Asian Taekwondo Championship in Amman, Jordan. With support from Blumont, the Jordan Sport Federation, Korea Refugee Project, and UNHCR, the three girls were welcomed to compete with the World Taekwondo Federation Refugee Team.
“I was shocked when I heard about my participation in the tournament, but at the same time, I felt the achievement of my dream,” Rama said. “During the tournament, I admit I was tense, but the atmosphere was wonderful. I encourage everyone to overcome fear and become a heroine. I’d love to send this message to anyone who limits their ambition.”
Too often refugees and displaced people do not have the opportunity to pursue their dreams, but stepping onto the stage at the Taekwondo Championship, Rawa, Yamama, and Batool had the chance to feel the excitement, nerves, and accomplishment that sport can bring.
“This is the best day of my life. I have participated in one the most popular championships in the world to achieve the first steps of my dream,” Yamama said. “Entering the stage was a tough moment, but I defeated my fear. I would love to send a message to every refugee around the world that we can succeed in all ways. I wish that this experience could be repeated, as I promised myself to win first place.”
The girls appreciated the support they’ve received from the TIGER team, partners, friends, and family, with Yamama offering a special note of thanks to her father.
“It was a unique opportunity to participate in the Asian Taekwondo Championship,” Batool said. “Thanks to everyone who supported us to achieve this.”
Blumont’s Za’atari Community Based Protection Program (CBP), funded by UNHCR, works to protect the well-being, rights and dignity of Za’atari Camp residents through integrated and sustainable programming focused on case management, community mobilization and community engagement.