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Helping ActionAid to provide psychosocial support to vulnerable Syrian refugee children

Project completed: May 2019

Who they are

ActionAid has been working in the Arab Region since the mid 1990s, focussing on women’s rights, youth civic engagement and humanitarian aid. In the Middle East, ActionAid works with some of the most marginalised people, including displaced groups, ethnic minorities and people with disabilities.

Globally, ActionAid works with the poorest women and girls around the world, changing their lives for good. Founded in 1972, ActionAid works in 45 countries across Asia, Africa and the Americas, helping people break free from poverty, end inequality and live a life of dignity.

What they do

In recent years ActionAid has seen a growing need for support in the Middle East. The massive displacement of over 5 million people from Syria has resulted in children and families staying long term in refugee camps in countries such as Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. Refugee children are amongst those who suffer most. Their loss of childhood, traumatic experiences of war and displacement, as well as a sense of isolation and a belief that they have little or no influence over their own life, can place significant strain on their mental health.

How we helped 

Funding from the tcc foundation has enabled ActionAid to provide psychosocial support activities for children who need help in their Women’s Safe Space and Community Centre in Zarqa, northern Jordan. Through this project, children took take part in activities including art, drama, puppets and story-telling to enable them to express their feelings and improve their mental wellbeing.

The tcc foundation grant provided 324 children with psychosocial support which consisted of 16 structured psychosocial sessions over two months. Referrals to additional services were made for 40 children. Support was also provided to the parents and siblings of the children attending the psychosocial sessions. 128 parents and 11 siblings participated in two scheduled activities which focussed on building communication and trust between parents and children.

Our donation also enabled the training of 10 youth volunteer facilitators, who are studying psychology, social work or related subjects at university to assist with the programme and provide support to the children. The Youth Volunteers ran information sessions for community members, addressing issues of bullying and social cohesion and over 48,000 people were reached through a media campaign to reduce bullying, which was identified as a real issue amongst young people.