This World Humanitarian Day, we are honouring the women who work on the front line of their own communities in some of the most difficult places. Those who make a huge contribution to make their societies a better place.
Qamar Al-Kurdi, 23, is Jordanian and based in the Syrian refugee camp Azraq. The camp currently has a population of over 35,000 refugees. She is a karate teacher with World Vision, an international children’s charity, and has done karate since the age of nine.
She explains that at first, her parents "disapproved", so she signed up without their knowledge. Qamar goes on to say; “One day I participated in the King Abdullah award for physical fitness, I won a gold medal and had the chance to meet the King. After this, my parents started encouraging me to participate in sport.”
World Vision supports children by organising sporting activities including basketball, football, karate and gymnastics for girls and boys. Qamar started teaching karate specifically to Syrian refugee girls in February 2018.
Qamar explains; “The girls lived hard lives in Syria – they have shared with me the stories of how they left Syria and how they used to hear the warplanes. When they first arrived here, their psychological state was very bad.
“Life is hard for girls living in the Azraq camp as they have very few rights. They are not allowed to play or to go out much, and common traditions mean they aren’t allowed to continue in school and must marry at a young age."