UNICEF names 19 -year-old Syrian refugee as goodwill ambassador

In a historic first, UNICEF has appointed Syrian refugee Muzoon Almellehan as its newest and youngest goodwill ambassador.

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On World Refugee Day, the 19-year-old female education activist Muzoon Almellehan became the first person with official refugee status to become an ambassador for UNICEF.

According to Xinhua, while living in Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan, Muzoon received support from UNICEF. With her appointment, she follows in the footsteps of the late Audrey Hepburn, a Goodwill Ambassador who was also supported by UNICEF as a child.

“Even as a child, I knew that education was the key to my future, so when I fled Syria, the only belongings I took with me were my school books,” said Muzoon.

“As a refugee, I saw what happens when children are forced into early marriage or manual labour — they lose out on education and they lose out on possibilities for the future,” she adds.

In 2013, Muzoon along with her family fled the conflict in Syria and lived as refugees for three years in Jordan before being resettled in the United Kingdom. During the 18 months she spent in the Za’atari camp, she became an advocate for children’s access to education, particularly for girls.

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