Authorized NPO REALs (Reach Alternatives)
[Syria] Making a change from the harsh life of refugee living side by side with conflict: emotional care for internally displaced persons, activities on gender-based violence
The certified NPO REALs (Reach Alternatives) (Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Chairman: Rumiko Seya, hereinafter REALs) conducts psychological care for internally displaced persons and activities to prevent
gender-based violence in Syria.
A conflict involving bombings and shootings continues in Syria. Many internally displaced persons in Syria bear an excessive mental burden, such as the destruction caused by conflict, detention, fear of family injury or death, and worries about their lives and future. The risk of gender-based violence, such as sexual violence and child marriage, is also serious.
REALs will partner with the local organization Syrian Woman Association to carry out the following activities for internally displaced persons.
・Train 10 staff members of a local organization to become trainers who train community workers who take care of the mental health of displaced people.
・Employees of a local organization trained 46 evacuees as community workers. ・Counseling sessions through home visits ・Identification of necessary support, including psychological care, for 4,800 displaced persons ・Individual psychological counseling for 416 people
・Psychosocial workshop for 320 people
・Gender-based violence prevention awareness session for 1,000 people Current difficulties faced by internally displaced persons in Syria Civilian casualties continue in Syria due to conflicts involving bombings and shootings. Many people have been forced to flee from place to place in order to escape the fighting. According to the United Nations Information Center, 99% of internally displaced persons have been displaced more than once in areas where REALs operate. Many people are worried that even if they change their place of residence in search of safety, they may suddenly be forced out again.
The economic turmoil caused by the economic crisis in neighboring Turkey and the Ukrainian crisis is adding to the evacuation life. With the prices of food and daily necessities soaring, many people have lost their source of income and are in a situation where there is no prospect of survival. As living conditions worsen, child marriage as a means of livelihood is also increasing.
In addition, in camps for internally displaced persons, tents often cannot be locked and there are no lights at night, creating an environment where women and children are at great risk of being kidnapped and sexually assaulted. In addition, many people are stressed and live in close quarters in cramped houses, which has led to a high incidence of domestic violence. Many internally displaced persons are at risk of gender-based violence.
People living as refugees in Syria are now facing the above-mentioned confluence of hardships and have compelling psychological problems such as extreme stress, depression and hopelessness. However, there is a lack of support for psychological care, which is difficult to see on the surface, and there are many IDP camps where no support is provided at all.
Support activities for REALs
In response to the above situation, REALs will partner with the local organization Syrian Woman Association (SWA) for the 12 months from November 2022 to November 2023 to provide the following support. [Image 1
Training 10 staff members of a local organization to be trainers to train community workers who are in charge of mental health care for displaced persons.
Staff of a local organization trained 46 displaced persons as community workers 4,800 displaced persons identified necessary support, including counseling sessions through home visits and psychological care Individual psychological counseling for 416 people
Psychosocial workshop for 320 people
1,000 gender-based violence prevention awareness sessions
In this project, we plan to conduct activities at multiple camps for internally displaced persons. Community workers select several people from each camp according to the population, and each of them conducts activities in the camp where they live. Community workers visit homes in the camps to conduct interviews and provide counseling sessions. If there are people who need support such as mental care, they play a role in connecting them to individual psychological counseling and appropriate external support.
The training of community workers will be carried out by SWA staff who have undergone trainer training by REALs. SWA has been engaged in support activities locally for a long time, and is an organization that has been collaborating with REALs for more than a year. By equipping the organization’s staff with the ability and skills to develop community workers, SWA aims to develop local human resources and expand support for internally displaced persons even after the end of the project.
In the awareness-raising session on prevention of gender-based violence, knowledge about the dangers, introduction of actual cases, specific prevention and response measures, etc. will be handled while reflecting the local context. In some cases, acts that are taken for granted in terms of traditional values and customs are violence against specific sexes and genders. For some internally displaced persons, there are cases in which the problem of gender-based violence is linked to psychological problems.
We are working with local organizations to find people who are trapped in the harsh conditions of conflict and displacement, to provide them with psychological care, and to reduce the number of people who experience gender-based violence and fear. We will work with internally displaced persons.
This project will be implemented with donations to REALs and subsidies from Japan Platform.
Authorized NPO REALs (Reach Alternatives)
REALs is a certified NPO that works to prevent conflicts. We currently operate in Afghanistan, Syria, Turkey, South Sudan, Somalia and Kenya. REALs aims to prevent conflicts such as conflicts and terrorism, and to realize a society where people can coexist. REALs develops local human resources, builds mechanisms to prevent conflicts, and builds social networks so that people involved in conflicts can proactively work to prevent and solve problems. Details about this release: