Girls’ Voices – Bayan’s Dream to Become a Journalist

By Patricia Cogley, Director of Girls’ Voices

Bayan is an incredibly motivated, talented, and expressive young woman. She is a Syrian refugee and lives in the Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan. Since she came to the Camp four years ago, she has consistently attended school and sought out every opportunity she could to learn something new.

Bayan is days away from moving to a new camp and is worried about being able to finish her studies. Instead of going to school, she is expected to find a job and support her family. Bayan is facing what many refugee children face – poverty pushing her into work before she has completed school. More than one-third of the 226,000 refugee children in Jordan do not receive formal schooling. Close to 60 percent of Syrian families rely on money earned by children, who consequently drop out of school to work.

But Bayan does not want to be a statistic. More than anything she wants to finish her schooling so that she can give back, and share her perspective with the world.


Bayan discovered photography a couple of years ago and has since become obsessed. She takes pictures whenever she can, exploring all aspects of life in the camp. Photography has inspired her so much, that she has decided to become a journalist. She sees reporting about the war on TV, and she wants to share the authentic experience of being forced to move away from her home because of things beyond her control.

“During the war in Syria, I would turn on the TV and see the media and reporters. I felt like I would love to be one of them, that I was one of them. I would say to myself, if only there was a button that you could press and you would grow older real fast and become a journalist. I would love to show the world the truth as it is.”

Bayan’s photo of her friend learning photography.

By participating in’s Girls’ Voices for Change Contest, and thanks to YOU, Bayan is grateful that she will receive the initial financial assistance to help her pay for high school in her new location. For Bayan, education is the “magic button” that can help her achieve her dreams, and she is so close to the finish line. You can donate to Bayan’s education here, to ensure that she has the funds she needs to complete secondary, pass her final exit exam and one day become a journalist!

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by patricia, August 7, 2017