Raefah Makki in Beirut
Noura Al Momni is a social worker at the Jordan National Red Crescent Society psycho-social programme in Amman. This project is run in partnership with the French Red Cross and Unicef.
“We offer group sessions for people to talk, to vent – this is the favourite, for the children, of all things, to be able to talk.
“For older age groups we offer them training and activities – sculpture, electronics, tailoring – we try and if they are interested in them, we teach them more, offer them training.
“We have found for the men it is better to offer them an activity, it encourages them to open up and talk if they are busy also doing something. With the women, we find they are more open and want to talk.
“Once people have tried some things they have the option to choose a training course and get a certificate, to help towards gaining a profession. For example we offer training to become a professional level tailor, a make-up artist, and we offer computer training too.
“We have been here since 2008, but it’s only in the last two months we started working with Syrians. We have now 300 Syrian families who need our help.
“We use art to help the children. We say ‘do a drawing of a safe space for you’, or maybe they make a Lego model to show us something. We have a story day, where everyone comes in to tell a story to the group.
“The major problem for children is insecurity. Our work for the first three days always focuses on breaking down that wall to help the children talk.
“We do outreach work to find people who may need our help, and we have open days too. After outreach work sometimes I feel really down – there is still so much to do. There are more cases out there. But when we help people this lifts us up. I have been with the Red Crescent since 2006. I like to help people, it feels good, to talk with people and help them.
“Even in just two months we have seen a big difference in the people we are helping. We see improvements in self-confidence, self-esteem, and people are happier talking even to someone they don’t know. Yes, we see a big difference in two months.”