In a historic first, UNICEF on Monday announced 19-year-old education activist and Syrian refugee Muzoon Almellehan, as its youngest Goodwill Ambassador. With this appointment, Muzoon has become the first person with an official refugee status to become an Ambassador for UNICEF.

Muzoon got support from UNICEF while she lived in Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan. “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 labor – they lose out on education and they lose out on possibilities for the future. That’s why I am proud to be working with UNICEF to help give these children a voice and to get them into school,” she said.

Muzoon, along with her family, fled Syria in 2013. For three years, she lived as a refugee in Jordan before she settled in the United Kingdom. During the 18 months that she spent in the Za’atari camp, she began to advocate for children’s access to education, particularly for girls.

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Applauding her for her efforts, UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Justin Forsyth said: “Muzoon’s story of bravery and fortitude inspires us all. We are very proud she will now become an Ambassador for UNICEF and children around the world.”

Muzoon had also recently travelled with UNICEF to Chad, where most of the girls living in conflict-hit areas are missing out on education. During the trip, she met the children who were forced out of school due to the Boko Haram conflict in the Lake Chad region. Since the time she came back, she has been putting in her efforts to promote the understanding of the challenges that children are facing in the conflict-hit region.

Support is pouring in from all quarters for the youngest UNICEF goodwill ambassador

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