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Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development

My Community Project: Celebrating Social Cohesion

ARDD

The My Community Project aims to improve social cohesion by conducting sessions with Syrian refugees and the Jordanian host community. The third stage of this program concluded on the 30th October in Sahab following the completion of 5 successful sessions.

The sessions had been attended by children aged 11 – 15 and their mothers. Each session would begin with the children and mothers participating in separate activities.

The children’s sessions involved engagement with artistic projects and lessons on communication skills, including body language.  The children’s session were designed to progressively improve their confidence and leadership skills to encourage them to become more active members of their community.

The women attended psycho-social sessions conducted by Dr Lina, a doctor of psychology, designed to improve their ability to manage anger and stress. During the psycho-social sessions mothers from both communities came together to support one another with coping the hardships they face as well as created shared understanding between them. They also attended legal sessions ran by ARDD lawyers. The legal sessions informed the mothers of their rights and legal status as Jordanians and as refugees.  

Following the initial portion of the session in which the mothers and children were separated, they would then attend a joint civic engagement session focused on increasing their collective participation in the community. Participants were encouraged to develop initiatives that will allow the community to work together on key issues and improve harmony within the community.

On Sunday 31 October the participants all received certificates during a graduation ceremony. During the graduation, the participants presented their initiatives to improve social cohesion by furthering inter-community dialogue and increased acceptance.  One community initiative was a clothes bank for which individuals could contribute clothing to be redistributed to those most in need in the community. Eco-friendly initiatives focused on using recycled plastic water bottles to plant flowers in in school gardens and planting vegetables in recycled boxes.

ARDD were very impressed by the variation in the initiatives presented and the level of work that each participant had put into their presentation. We would like to congratulate all the mothers and children on their participation and hope that they continue to make great strides to improve social cohesion in Sahab. 

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