In the Midst of Tragedy, Healing and Renewal is Also Happening
The news regularly highlights the continuing tragedy of this life-shattering experience for so many innocent and vulnerable victims caught up in the devastation and trauma.
What is also true is the experience of healing and recovery taking place through humanitarian efforts such as the Social Health Care program for these same Syrian refugees.
Every instance of a child - who has suffered traumatic experiences and great loss of all semblance of their previous secure life - regaining a sense of security, joy, and hope for the future in their daily life, is a testament to the beneficial impact of these services; services that are made possibly through the continuing support of so many who step forward to provide the needed resources.
Our team members and trainees are devoted volunteers who contribute their time, energy, and skills, often at their own expense, to ensure these critical needs are met.
Over the last 3 months we have continued to provide the services described in more detail in our last report, and to further prepare new services under development.
Continuing trauma healing direct services:
The Social Health Care program continues to operate direct psycho-social treatment and recovery services to Syrian refugee widows and their children in Jordan, and to develop and expand on these services to reach more refugees in need. Examples include a weekly women’s support group for approximately 40 refugee widows, trauma therapy, coping skills training (such as stress and mood management, emotional support, self-esteem, nonviolent communications, assertive problem solving and decision making, etc.), expressive art therapy, play therapy, family counseling, crisis intervention and stabilization.
We provide these services at several sites in Jordan, including pilot project sites intended to both provide services and demonstrate how to set up effective service programs under unpredictable circumstances in regions of war where the human service system is seriously compromised and resources are very scarce. Examples are a residential center in Amman that serves 40 refugee families made up of widows and their children, a day-service center in Irbid that services refugee families, and a women’s safe space in Irbid that are planned to be replicated at other sites in Jordan over this next year.
We also conduct Community resilience building events to promote community cohesion and esteem, and provide public mental health and self-help education to large groups.
Creating the local capacity to provide increased and sustained direct trauma healing services:
In addition to providing direct trauma healing services to the Syrian refugee community, we continue to conduct practical trauma treatment skills training – at no cost - to local trainees to help build local capacity to expand on and sustain these lifesaving services. We do this through our on-going free trainings of local students, NGO staff, humanitarian relief workers, and volunteers that we have conducted since 2012, and a 12-month Certified Diploma in Clinical Social Work through a partnership with Yarmouk University, the Queen Rania Center, and Michigan State University. This practical skills diploma program has enrolled and trained 3 classes of trainees to date.
In October 2017 we also established a new professional psychosocial intensive skills training program for medical students in partnership with the medical schools of 2 major Jordanian universities and Michigan State University Department of Psychiatry. This higher level practical training in psychosocial treatment skills is unprecedented in Jordan, and is expected to be extended to the other 4 medical schools in Jordan over this year.
A specialized psycho-social training program is also provided to local clergy members, who are often approached for help with trauma issues.
Trainees in all of our programs work with our expert therapists to provide the direct psycho-social services to refugee children and their families throughout Jordan, and are being prepared to eventually take on full responsibility for continuing these services into the future. In this way the direct services provided by our expert teams can eventually be continued, expanded, and provided by members of the effected society indefinitely.
Empowering individuals to prepare for a new future:
As education and vocational skills are essential for the recovery of families that must start their lives over after having lost everything, we are currently developing an educational and vocational support program to help support schools for refugee children, and to prepare particularly women and teenage - who have become heads of household in families where the father has been lost - with skills that can empower them to successfully financially provide for their families and gain self-sufficiency. This will include vocational skills training and mentoring for both employment and creating a small business.
In addition to these services, we are providing personal care and basic daily living materials and supplies needed for everyday life.
The beneficial impact of these healing services is exhibited every day in the lives of these victims of war and violence, as well as the obvious need for more help in healing and recovery in a community devastated by trauma and loss. What makes it possible for our volunteer teams of trauma therapists, trainers, and trainees to continue providing these life-saving services to so many vulnerable children and their families is your continued support.
The many refugee children, their families, and our trainees who benefit so greatly from these services are grateful for all who generously support this vital work!
HOW YOU CAN HELP OUR WORK CONTINUE:
- Continue supporting our work with your generous contributions. Every donation amount results in our reaching more children and families to achieve more healing and recovery.
- Share our story with family, friends, and colleagues to encourage their support by raising awareness of both the need and the concrete good being done.
- Link our appeal site to your social media sites and ask others to do the same.
- Learn if your employment offers matching donations for humanitarian causes to multiply our contributions.
Feel free to contact Steve Olweean (SOlweean@aol.com) or Myron Eshowsky (email@example.com) with any questions or to share your feedback.
Play therapy at residential center