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Our History

Acting For Change International was founded by Kotaiba Alabdullah, a refugee from the Syrian city of Palmyra in October 2016, as a Syrian refugee-led initiative originally called Acting For Change Jordan. After several organisations he had been volunteering with ended their operations, Kotaiba continued to support the communities he had worked with, through organising distributions of food, clothes, medical items and school supplies.

October 2016

Kotaiba Alabdullah, Anna Prescott and Marwan Allom start Acting For Change Jordan (AFCJ) as a voluntary initiative, distributing food and medical supplies and facilitating informal classes in Zaatari Village to children without access to government schools.

January - February 2017

AFCJ facilitates the construction of an informal school for Refugee Utility Project (RUP) near Rukban refugee camp in Syria, providing space for 230 students trapped near the Jordanian border to receive classes.

April 2017

AFCJ runs four “kids events” for children in Zaatari Village, in addition to a week of photography workshops (until August 2017).

July 2017

AFCJ purchases half of the land where the caravans lie in order to ensure the project is able to continue, and adds an additional caravan to the centre, with the support of Refugease.

September 2017

AFCJ opens the centre two mornings every week teaching Arabic, Maths and English classes with funding support from RUP. Classes run until May 2018. 

November 2017

AFCI completes improvements to the centre, including laying cement to the ground, and adding weatherproofing to the caravans.

May 2018

AFCI’s work is filmed by Reuters and featured in reports on Sky News Arabic, Al Jazeera, and Al Arabiya.

July 2018

AFCI purchases 10 laptops and launches computer classes with the support of the Catalyst Foundation for Universal Education.




October 2018

AFCI reopens the centre for a new term of foundational literacy classes. Arabic/Maths and English classes run three days per week until December, in addition to the computer classes continuing two days per week.


February 2019

The third round of students graduate from our computer classes, bringing it up to a total of 49 students that have successfully graduated from our computer classes. 


July - August 2019

Two volunteers run a summer project, doing crafts with the children and renovating the caravans for the upcoming semester.


November 2020

RefugEase donates tablets for the students which enables AFCI to continue classes online. 

September 2021

The centre fully reopens and AFCI welcomes more than 120 students for the first time.

November 2016

AFCJ renovates four caravans in Zaatari Village including providing chairs, desks, and an outdoor toilet.

March 2017

AFCJ facilitates a recycling project with Innovationaid in the village, helping to develop innovative, low-tech solutions to meet community needs.

June 2017

AFCJ distributes 63 food packages during Ramadan to refugee and host-community families (each package contained enough food for a household one month).

August - September 2017

The “Dome classroom” is constructed in partnership with Emergency Architecture and Human Rights.

October 2017

AFCJ becomes Acting For Change International (AFCI) with the signing of its UK registration.

February 2018

AFCI conducts a multi-sector Needs Assessment of 78 Syrian and 15 Jordanian households to identify the needs of the community in Zaatari Village.

July 2018

AFCI runs a one month project in collaboration with Radio Zaatari, teaching 10 children attending the centre how to design a radio station and broadcast radio shows from the centre.

September 2018

AFCI secures ownership of the rest of the land of the Zaatari Centre, ensuring project sustainability. During this time, AFCI works with experienced architects and engineers to design a building project to replace the caravans with sustainable structures.

December 2018

The students from the second round of computer classes graduate, having learned the basics of hardware and software, MS Office and how to use the internet effectively.  


July 2019

AFCI runs a second radio project in collaboration with Radio Zaatari, teaching 10 children attending the centre how to design a radio station and broadcast radio shows from the centre.


March 2020

Due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic and mandatory school closures, AFCI has to suspend all activities at the centre, including the new semester of computer classes. 

July-August 2021

AFCI collaborates with 7Hills Park for skateboard lessons and runs an English summer school at the centre.

July-August 2021

AFCI now runs Arabic, Maths, English and Social Science classes five days per week. 

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