Refugees in Jordan

Assistance for Refugees in Jordan

Assistance for Refugees in Jordan

Located between Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel and Palestine is the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. For the last 70 years, it has been the destination of multiple streams of refugees. More than 10% of Jordan’s population is comprised of refugees. Since the year 2000 the population has doubled from 5 to 9.5 million. Since 2011, more than 600,000 Syrians and tens of thousands of Iraqis have fled to Jordan. Most are suffering from the physical and mental scars left by the war and fleeing to safety.

Tearfund Germany focuses on supporting family units within the communities where refugees reside. Healing and reconciliation within families means that family units become healthy nurturing environments. In particular, the inclusion of husbands and fathers is important to achieve sustainable change.

Supporting refugee families in Jordan, focussing especially on helping children

During the time of our programming in Jordan we have engaged in the following activities which focus on the needs of the most vulnerable:

  • Literacy courses in Arabic and English for children – chance for education
  • Mother-and-child-groups – relief and comfort in difficult circumstances
  • Courses on Marriage and Child-rearing – enhancement of life skills
  • Support of women – fostering self-confidence, capacity and inclusion
  • Football for girls in conservative regions – exercise, team spirit, competition and fun
  • Support of livelihoods – economic initiatives, entrepreneurship and skills acquisition
  • Rainwater harvesting – to relieve water scarcity

Projects are implemented with 30 local partners, community centres, schools and churches as well as directly with volunteers from refugee communities. Vulnerable Jordanians are included in certain activities so that they also profit from our programs. It is a priority for us to give refugees new perspectives and assist them in organizing their lives in meaningful ways – using their time wisely while being away from their homes.
To address reasons for flight, an end to the war in Syria is the first requirement.

Do you want to know more? Contact us and let us know. Become part of our program by donating for Tearfund Germany, Jordan program.

More Program-specific Information:

Literacy Courses in Arabic and English for Children – Chance for Education

In conversations with parents we constantly hear that a key concern is the education of their children. Living in difficult conditions that may last for some time while coping with the aftermath of war trauma raises many challenges for families. These lost years of education may never be caught up. Seven years into the crisis, there are still large numbers of Syrian children who either are not attending schools or are not able to make progress in their education. Jordan is doing a lot to provide schooling by increasing class sizes and moving to a two-shift-system, but still many children fall through the cracks.

We have developed literacy classes in Arabic and English and produced teaching and learning materials that acknowledge the fact that it’s not only about the content, but also the method of teaching that makes a big difference in children’s lives. The courses are successful and the demand is high. In a short time, we have already trained 50 teachers and printed two editions of the course books.

In the literacy classes, the children also are supported to catch up with their school classes, with the parents being included in these efforts.

In one literacy class a Syrian boy continuously neglected his homework. Two Syrian volunteer teaching assistants followed up on this and visited the family. It came out that the boy was the first one in his family learning how to read and write. His parents and siblings were all illiterate, including the father and the 17-year-old brother. These two ended up sharing about their wish to also learn how to read and write. Now they both participate in a literacy course for adults.

This is an example of how children are sometimes the catalyst for new ideas and positive change for the whole family. And it demonstrates how important it is to not to make assumptions about behavior, but to look deeper and build relationships with families.

Mother-and-child-groups – relief and comfort in difficult circumstances

Flight, loss of home, lack of resources and bad living conditions lead to a lot of stress for families. Therefore, we are providing safe spaces for mothers and children where they can come regularly to learn, have social interactions with others and get advice and assistance.

Half of the groups are led directly by Syrian women. In this role, the leaders have the opportunity to further develop their own skill set, help others, and contribute to their families’ income with the allowance they receive. Other groups are organized with local churches and kindergartens. Until now, more than 2000 children and 200 mothers have benefitted from the project.

Courses on Marriage and Child-rearing – enhancement of life skills

Assessments have shown that war and forced migration lead to increased violence at home. Violence in and between families, in schools, and on the street become a significant problem both for the refugees and for the host communities in Jordan. Children often mirror their parents’ behavior. New ideas, practical advice, and support for marriage and child-rearing can be difficult to find.

Creativity helps to break out of the everyda

Tearfund Germany has developed a training course on these topics which is now implemented with our local partners. The course is combined with home visits and information campaigns.

How do we find the participants for our courses? – A sixty-year-old, illiterate Syrian husband had joined our marriage course. Our first impression was that he was not the ideal candidate to spread innovative ideas and promote the course. But he came faithfully and put into practice what he had learned. One day he started to say “Thank you” to his wife. At first his wife couldn’t believe it, but she was touched by this little change and told all her friends about the course!

Support of women fostering self-confidence, capacity and inclusion.

Jordan is among the countries with the lowest employment rate for women. In our program, we offer opportunities for women from conservative environments. In sensitive, culturally appropriate ways, they are supported to develop their skills, take responsibility and earn their own money.

Football for girls in conservative regions – exercise, team spirit, competition and fun

Girls, particularly if from poor, conservative areas, are typically limited to the narrow boundaries of their homes. They don’t have any real opportunity to do sports or get exercise or stimulation from outside.

In 2016 we started a football program for girls. In 15 schools, teachers were trained to provide quality football lessons for girls.  This gave the female students the chance to participate in sports, many for the very first time. The project allows the girls to enjoy life, discover their identity, strengthen their health and dream of a future beyond the monotone present they are confronted with.  It is a pleasure to watch how much the girls enjoy the project.

15-year old Sumaia studies at one of our partner schools. She wrote a letter to her football trainer, telling her that she was quitting school. She explained that because of her poor marks, she had been skipping school. This made her feel ashamed and she was convinced that she was a failure. She went on to say that she was very sad that this would mean that she could no longer participate in the football group. She only wrote to her coach because she liked her so much and didn’t want to disappear without giving notice.

The teacher had built a trusting relationship with the girls she was coaching and so decided to visit Sumaia at home, taking two other teachers with her. The three women managed to convince Sumaia to return to school and continue studying. They promised to assist her in her studies.

Now Sumaia is back on the football team, attending school regularly, and studying hard with the help of her teachers. Through this journey her self-confidence has been regained and she is optimistic about her future.

Livelihoods – Support of economic initiatives, entrepreneurship and skills acquisition

Since 2016 refugees in Jordan are allowed to work in certain sectors. We support them in finding work and overcoming barriers and obstacles to entering employment. We’re also providing training courses to support self-initiatives and founding of new businesses.

Water – Rainwater harvesting to relieve water scarcity

Jordan is among the countries with the lowest per-capita water resources in the world. The growth of population after welcoming high numbers of refugees has further increased this problem. In partnership with German Development Assistance (BMZ funding), Tearfund Germany set up a revolving loan system to equip rural villages with rainwater harvesting cisterns. During the short rainy seasons, these collect water from the rooftops. The water stored is then available for household usage. Thus, the households save costs on purchasing water and with these savings, they pay back the loans. The returned loan is available for additional households to also get a cistern.

Particularly vulnerable families are supported by Tearfund Germany through financial assistance to cover costs for urgent medical treatment or temporary additional costs like making apartments winter-proof. It is also important not to neglect vulnerable Jordanians who cannot cover their costs for rent, sufficient food, medical treatment or education.
In addition to financial assistance we visit people in their homes to encourage, help and support as needed. Our activities are needs-based and we focus on root causes of poverty and issues with long-term effects. This includes issues like illiteracy, violence in families, lack of entrepreneurship or the exclusion of women. To bring lasting, positive change, our programs are developed and implemented in close partnership with the target groups.

We’re very thankful for our staff, our local partners and all our supporters.
Together, we are able to continue these very important projects.

Jordan is a sovereign Arab state in Western Asia on the East Bank of the Jordan River. Jordan is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north, Israel and Palestine to the west. Jordan is landlocked except for the Dead Sea along its western borders and a small shoreline on the Red Sea at its extreme south-west. The capital, Amman, is Jordan’s most populous city as well as the country’s economic, political and cultural centre.

More Info: Jordan


Activities in Jordan