Mariam is from Idlib Syria, and she is 13-years old. She lives in Masaken, South of Lebanon with her parents, six sisters, and a brother.
Five years ago, the family fled from war-torn Syria. Apart from the time they spent there harvesting olives, Mariam doesn't recall much about her childhood home in Idlib. Her mother is a stay-at-home mom, while her father does drywall and ceiling tiles.
Life changes at a young age had an impact on Mariam’s learning and Mariam was turned down by a number of local schools. She fortunately joined our community center’s informal education program and began participating in a variety of activities, including Mourjjan4Children, digital training, and music. Due to her delay in accessing education, Mariam initially struggled to participate in class and converse with her friends. Since Mariam had never been to school, she was too hesitant to talk to anyone, even her teachers; it was difficult for her to engage in class and interact with her friends. She was also timid to express that she did not know how to read and write.
Mariam's teachers admired her calm attitude and worked hard with her so that she could read, write, and do math like her friends. With time, Mariam gained more confidence, and her participation in the Mourjjan4Children creative program played a major role in her character building. She was passionate about drawing and would practice for countless hours without getting tired or bored. Mariam was able to overcome her shyness and demonstrate her ability to contribute to the project constructively. She generously offered advice to everyone and supported her pals. It pleased her and boosted her self-confidence. This was also evident in Mariam's routine activities at the Masar community center, run by Swiss4Lebanon, where the teachers saw the improvements Mariam made as a result of the workshop. She has learned that the road to success is paved with obstacles that she can overcome, so she now strives harder and is less scared to fail.
Mariam responded enthusiastically when asked about the second part of the program and how excited she was to hear the facilitators were returning. She added that creating and wearing the "emotion hat" was a fantastic experience that she loved.
Mariam hopes to work in the beauty industry as a hairdresser or makeup artist when she grows up because she believes these are careers where she can apply her artistic abilities. Her mother is very supportive of her in doing it and encourages her to "Be Creative."