Second refugee support centre opens in Jordan

The Qatar Red Crescent Society has launched a psychosocial support centre for refugees from the crisis in Syria, in cooperation with the Jordan National Red Crescent Society

The centre, which is located in the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan, is the second to be opened by the two organisations. The first was established in Mafraq city and provides play therapy and other activities for children, and also offers vocational courses for women and lectures to raise awareness on family-related issues.

“Part of our strategy is that relief should not be limited to providing food, non-food items and shelters but will include productive social, educational and entertainment activities that would help spread hope, eliminate anxiety and help bring back the smiles on the faces of children and their mothers,” said Dr Mohammed Al-Maadheed, Chairman of Qatar Red Crescent Society.

“It is very important to keep the youth engaged in creative and meaningful activities that would keep them optimistic and positive about the future,” he continued. “Our assessment showed an immediate need to fill this gap and this psychosocial support centre came at the right time.”

In Mafraq city, the existing centre runs a Youth Sports Programme where a dedicated space is provided for football matches. Last year, a Peace Championship tournament was organised to encourage sportsmanship among young Syrians. Around 50 Qatar Red Crescent Society volunteers will now conduct interviews at the Zaatari camp, to identify which services might best meet the needs of families at the new facility.

The Zaatari camp currently houses 150,000 refugees from the Syrian crisis, while another 350,000 Syrians have found shelter in Jordanian communities. In total some 1.2 million Syrians have fled since the uprising began in March 2011, according to the UN, which has warned it will soon be unable to provide life-saving aid to refugees in Jordan and other countries due to lack of funds.