In a historic first, UNICEF on Monday announced the appointment of Muzoon Almellehan, a 19-year-old education activist and Syrian refugee, as its newest, and youngest, Goodwill Ambassador.
Muzoon has been advocating for girls’ education since fleeing her hometown of Dara’a in 2013 to escape the war being waged by the Assad regime against the Syrian people.
Muzoon lived as a refugee for three years in Jordan before being resettled in the United Kingdom. It was during her 18 months in the Za’atari camp that she began advocating for children’s access to education, particularly for girls.
Muzoon, who received support from UNICEF while living in Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan, follows in the footsteps of the late Audrey Hepburn, a Goodwill Ambassador who was also supported by UNICEF as a child.
On the eve of World Refugee Day, on June 20, Muzoon sent a message to every refugee around the world: “Dear refugee, I want you to know that life will improve. Not long ago, my family and I were in your place. We were exhausted and terrified, unaware what lies on ahead. I was 14 years old, in the last month of the ninth grade when bombing started. I loved my house. It was a happy place, but we had to leave everything and look for another place to start again.”
Mazoon encouraged all refugees not to give up their hopes and dreams and to attend school, noting that education helps build a better future. Mazoon stressed that she will continue to work to support refugees and their right to education. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Agencies)