Hope: A Step Forward

Sunday 3 March 2013

Sara is a 4 year old Syrian girl who came to Jordan with her mother and older siblings at the beginning of the conflict in Syria. Before coming to Jordan, Sara witnessed the violent death of her father right before her eyes.

“She stopped speaking instantly, she did not say a word for months,” said Sara’s mother who joined Save the Children’s Parent Child Center (PCC) in Ramtha.

Through a project funded by the World Bank, Save the Children has established and equipped Parent Child Centers across communities that host Syrian refugees and vulnerable Jordanian families. The centers aim at providing a sense of normalcy back to the children, while providing a space for mothers to meet, learn practical skills and participate in awareness raising sessions. Initially, Sara was referred to a health center as she needed psychosocial support. However shortly afterwards, her mother came back to our center insisting we help Sara cope with her trauma through our activities.

Her mother said, “When I saw the activities that were held at the center, it made me realize that this might really help Sara get better. She will be around children her age.”
Sara began attending the PCC with her mother, along with getting the psychosocial support she was referred to. She was introduced to the other children, and included in all the activities that were held by our trained volunteers. For the first two weeks, seeing results of progress from Sara was challenging.  

“She was behaving like a regular shy four year old child, and you could sense that she needed some time to feel like she belongs,” said Aya, Save the Children’s volunteer at the PCC. “But after one month of attending the center, we all noticed that she is opening up. She started showing some interest and particularly Lego assembling.”

To see Sarah willingly engage with the children through the activities was a great joy for her mother and the staff at the center. She enjoyed drawing and coloring books. After the second month, Sara started to call out “Mama” and mumble some words again, and her excitement when she enters the center is obvious to everyone around her. 

“Seeing my daughter like this makes me happy from the bottom of my heart, and I have Save the Children to thank for bringing my daughter back.” said Sara’s mother.

Sara is among many Syrian refugee children who struggle to cope with what they have been through. With spaces like Save the Children’s Parent Child Centers and Child Friendly Spaces, children are given a space to play, socialize and begin their recovery.