Faisal*, 5, belongs to a generation born and raised thousands of miles from home. His family fled bombs in Syria six years ago, and their bouncing boy was born in Za’atari camp in 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. We run 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.

Faisal 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.