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Tens of thousands of refugees in Jordan get help

Author: Hazel Southam, 11 May 2016

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Margaret Khabbaz, trauma healing facilitator for Bible Society sits with eight year old Tariq, Irbid, Jordan. (Photo credit: Bible Society / Clare Kendall)

Tens of thousands of refugees in Jordan are being helped to face their traumatic experiences of war, thanks to Bible Society.

For the last three years, the Bible Society of Jordan has been providing trauma healing for refugees who have fled wars in neighbouring Syria and Iraq.

Thirty-seven year-old Wedad from Damascus fled with her husband and six children when the town was hit by chemical bomb attacks.

‘It was emotionally exhausting,’ she says. ‘We got to the point where we didn’t have food and my littlest child had a rash on her arms because she was so afraid of the bombing.’

Once in the town of Madaba in Jordan, the family began attending the local church, and the children took part in a special trauma healing course.

‘The pastor did the trauma healing with them and drew the feelings out of the children,’ says Wedad. ‘As soon as he helped the children I felt a lot better. It took the children out of a place of fear and into a place of comfort.’

The scheme – which runs in 157 languages around the world – helps people to look at traumatic experiences that have happened. Groups, run by trained volunteers, discuss their experiences and subjects such as ‘why is there suffering?’ and rape as a weapon of war.

The scheme draws on biblical texts and is used in Jordan by both Muslim and Christian refugees alike.

Haya Khoury, programme co-ordinator for the trauma healing scheme in Jordan, said, ‘The need for trauma healing is as big as the need for food and shelter.

‘I love the verse in Revelation, “I will wipe away all the tears”. This is a great promise for those who are traumatised.’

In Jordan, Bible Society is also working with more than 30,000 refugees annually, to bring much-needed aid for people who have nothing, including bedding, monthly food parcels, nappies and clothes.

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