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Special Thanks to

■ A new project in East Amman has began. (2009/03/25)

Many Iraqi refugees reside in Marka and its neighboring areas in East Amman. KnK has started the following services at Marka Youth Center: 1) psychological care for Iraqi children suffering from trauma; 2) informal education and 3) vocational training courses such as computer class.

1) Psychological care

Iraqi refugee children have been hurt from their past experiences, for example of witnessing their families and friends killed in front of them, or of being kidnapped and assaulted. A number of children have trouble sleeping at night, wake up crying in the middle of night, or lose their facial expressions. Many refugees are living their lives with unhealed traumas.

Therefore KnK has provided the following 3 programs to give psychological care to such children:

1. Video Workshop

Video workshop 2008 in Fuheys.

Last year, with the assistance of KnK staff, Jordanian and Iraqi students in Fuheis have shot a film together, based on one of the Iraqi student’s experience. Through this activity, Iraqi students were able to face their pasts by putting their experience into words, and Jordanian students realized the Iraqi students’ sufferings.

This year we have started a new form of video workshop in Marka. We plan to share its outcomes with you in the future.

2. Peer Educator (PE) Program

As previously reported, PE program is proved to have positive effects on the youths suffering from traumas. The program was introduced to the youths at Fuheis Youth Center in 2008. As a result, the Iraqi youths, who used to lose his expression and shut himself into his room got his smile back, and those who couldn’t sleep at night now positively try to sleep in order to join a PE meeting the following day. Today, PE program has also been implemented in Marka.

3. Drawing class

Drawing is known to have a positive effect on those suffering from traumas. KnK has provided drawing classes so that children are able to express what they could not put into words.


2) Informal Education

[Why do they need informal education?]
Iraqi refugee children are permitted to go to public schools since 2007. However, they have faced some difficulties at school, due to the periods where they could not attend school, and/or curriculum differences between Jordan and Iraq. For example, English lessons start at the first grade in Jordan, whereas in Iraq, children start learning English at the fifth grade, and therefore Iraqi refugee children tend to have trouble in English classes at school in Jordan. In addition, a number of Iraqi refugee children experience bullying at school, causing them to leave school.

At the center, KnK provides English, mathematics, and Arabic classes according to school curriculum for Iraqi and Jordanian children. The classes are popular among them. They often told us that those classes are “easy to follow”, “helpful”, and “fun”. Within less than 3 months after we started this project in Marka, over 1,000 children have registered with our education program.

In addition to the 3 subjects above, KnK provides soccer classes and traditional dance classes for children to play and enjoy in the environment outside school or home.


3) Vocational Trainings (e.g. Computer)

[Why do they need vocational trainings?]
Iraqi refugees are not permitted to work in Jordan. They are living off what they were able to bring from Iraq, which are eaten up little by little, day by day. Iraqi youths who graduated or dropped out of school do not have much to do. Although they are willing to emigrate to a third country outside Jordan (such as US and Australia), it would be difficult for them to find a job in the new environment without any skills or English ability, especially in the deteriorating world economy. In reality, there are a number of Iraqi refugees facing difficulty finding a job in their new countries.

KnK provides computer and English classes as part of vocational training. One young refugee told us that taking part in KnK’s programs is “the only thing that is useful” in their lives as refugees.

English class.
They look very serious, don't they?

Children who cannot wait for the classes come to the Youth Center one hour earlier than the classes start, with a notebook and a pencil in their hands. This new project in Marka Youth Center has just started, but having such children seemingly proves our new project in Marka to be promising.

Children gathering more than one hour before class.

“Are you going to the Center already?”
“It’s only 2 o’clock (classes start from 3:30)”
“I know!”



Ai Ishitobi , Project Coordinator
Nonprofit Organization Kokkyo naki Kodomotachi (KnK)
4-3-22 ShimoOchiai Shinjuku-ku Tokyo 161-0033 Japan
Tel:03-6279-1126  Fax:03-6279-1127
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