A solar solution for a brighter future

For Hussam and his family, the solar hot water system doesn’t just mean longer baths, its an opportunity for a brighter future.

Hussam, his wife and three children Ahmad (15), Ammar (12) and Hammam (3 and half) live in Irbid, Jordan.

In 2013, they fled their home in Dara’a, Syria, leaving everything behind except a small bag for belongings. Upon arriving at Zaatari camp in Jordan at the reception area filled with new arrivals, Hussam remembers how he couldn’t sleep.

“I won’t forget that night. I stayed up while my family was sleeping on the floor in front of me, concerned and worried about them.”

Hussam was happy back in Syria. With a love for family, they lived with his parents in a large home, with plenty of gatherings full of love and laughter.

Now they are separated. He particularly misses his life in Syria during especially during Ramadan and Eid.

“I lost my mother two years ago, while I was in Jordan, and I couldn’t say goodbye to her. That’s very painful.”

Every morning Hussam wakes up to work as a tailor, the same occupation he had in Syria. He uses his income to cover their daily expenses and secure a dignified life for his children. He also says that education is very important. His message to his children is to be strong and continue their education to be successful in the future.

Thanks to support from IKEA Foundation and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, a solar water heater was installed on their roof a year and half ago.

Before it was installed, he and his wife used an electric gas heater, which would take an hour to heat the water. They were always worried about the electricity bill.

Now, they can use hot water for bathing, but also cooking and cleaning.

They save around 10 to 15 Jordanian dinars per month thanks to the solar hot water system. The money is now used for other daily expenses, such as transportation or covering different bills, and even school allowances for their children.

The solar water heater has had a huge impact on Hussam and his family.

“Even when I decide to go back to Syria, I am going to take it with me,” he says.