Bustle - Syrian Refugee Girls Are Taking Control Of Their Own Stories Through Film

By ERIN DELMORE for Bustle

"The kids noted that they had all of these people coming in from around the world to tell their stories and that they could tell their stories better than anybody else," says 32-year-old Justine McGowan, who works as CARE's senior innovation adviser and lives in California. "This enables young people to tell their stories directly, both to each other and to the rest of the world."

"The kids noted that they had all of these people coming in from around the world to tell their stories and that they could tell their stories better than anybody else," says 32-year-old Justine McGowan, who works as CARE's senior innovation adviser and lives in California. "This enables young people to tell their stories directly, both to each other and to the rest of the world."

As the Syrian civil war grinds on in its eighth year, humanitarian groups and international aid organizations are faced with the challenge of how to care for a group of people whose needs have changed with time. When Azraq Camp opened four years ago, displaced Syrians needed food, water, and shelter. Now, more than half of the camp's refugee population is made up of kids, and nearly 10,000 of them are school-age. Many have spent more than half their lives at Azraq Camp.

"If I were to listen to people’s shaming and what they say, I would never be able to do anything in my life."

"You need to create a path for them so they can seize opportunities for themselves, and so that they can take on the challenge of rebuilding their home country," says Charlie Grosso, the founder of Hello Future, a digital literacy program for young refugees that also teaches basic videography, photography, and mobile technology skills. "How are they going to possibly rebuild when they have no education, no skills?"

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