It has been six years since the armed Syrian conflict has started, and with NO resolution seen in the horizon as least for the coming year. At the beginning a lot of refugees fled to the surrounding countries like Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, and Iraq and then the refugees started targeted European countries thought Greece and Cyprus.
The current number of refugees registered with the UNHCR is around 638,633 according to the information from the UNHCR Site Last update is on the 4th of April 2016, and according to the Ministry of Interior in Jordan the number of refugees living in Jordan is around 1.4 million, and the large majority of the refugees are living in the urban areas especially cities and villages like Mafraq, Irbid and Zarqa in the north with relatives or friends or rent apartments when they can.
Women and children make up 71% of the refugee community and a recent survey by Intersos found 22% of the refugee households surveyed in Irbid had two or more vulnerabilities such as female headed households and/or special protection concerns including Gender Based Violence (GBV) and Domestic Violence. One of the factors contributing to the rise in trauma and domestic violence is the high level of stress experienced within households. 41% of women and girls report rarely, or never, leaving their shelter, whilst 29% boys and 15% men rarely or never leave their shelter. Refugees have no permit to formal employment, which particularly disempowers men, as previous traditional breadwinners are now unable to provide for their families. Domestic violence, early marriage, sexual harassment and exploitation are some of the main protection concerns. Yet, there is a lack of understanding about how to link into ongoing mental health care.
The programme targets Syrian refugee women living in Jordan outside the camps living in the north of Jordan (Irbid and Al Husn and the villages around).
Workshops are conducted in group settings (tables of 10 women, each with one trained table facilitator). Each workshop is held over 3 days, whereas all sessions take place in the mornings, so that women can have time to address their other family priorities. Sessions were designed to address women’s basic trauma/psychosocial and women’s health care awareness needs. Trauma care sessions are delivered by AWT’s trained staff. Given topics include an overview of dealing with grief and loss (Grief cycle); healthy parenting (children and war, parents as caregivers, marriage of minors, dealing with teenagers); family in harmony (family conflict & character types); daughter-in-law & mother-in-law relationship, plus SGBV. Women’s reproductive health sessions are conducted too by a Jordanian gynecologist who addresses early marriage; the woman’s menstrual cycle; nutrition, hygiene and diseases; pregnancy & breast feeding; breast cancer; menopause and osteoporosis.
The project works with Medair as a partner and other stakeholders providing services in the Irbid area to develop referral pathways so that the refugee woman attending the trauma care and health workshops have improved access to safe, multi-sectorial response services (GBV, legal, medical & mental health) as well as appropriate reproductive health care services.
AWT’s team of local trained volunteers do the follow up with the women after the sessions to get their feedback and assist them as needed to ensure they had the opportunity to get the referral services.
The project has a designated GBV/Protection Officer, who is responsible to liaison and coordinate with organizations working on protection/GBV in the refugee and IDP setting.
Process and Criteria:
The women are informed of the times and dates of Trauma Care sessions, at the focal points during distributions as well as by text messaging and through sharing registration information with other stakeholders (NGO’s, INGO’s, Medical Clinic’s etc.) Besides working in the Irbid area and the word of mouth between refugees brought a lot of attendance. Then women come to register their names to attend the sessions we hold. We follow a special criterion, and if women meet our requirements we allow them to attend the sessions.