"I was able to establish this organisation, because indeed there weren’t any organisations that took care of youth or women issues."
Jihane Mourjan had been volunteering with the Sadiq programme - an initiative that aims to protect youth, adolescents and children from the problems they face - in Jordan before deciding to establish her own organisation, the Bushra center in Zarqa in 2016: “I really loved volunteer work and that’s why I decided that I need to do something for the community and to help the marginalised segments of society”. The main idea behind the center was to help children and women from local and refugee communities find a safe haven. In addition, Jihane wanted to help them benefit from vocational trainings and life trainings through non-traditional methods, focusing on activities rather than just a traditional curriculum.
Children from all communities and backgrounds are welcome at the center: “some of them have dropped out of school, some of them cannot afford to go to school because of their financial situation; they are children who are exposed to danger; maybe they were victims of physical or psychological assault, and some children whose parents are separated,” she explains.
Syrian children benefit from the programmes as much as Jordanians do and the difference in needs are taken into consideration as activities are adapted to each community. while it is less of a priority for Syrian kids because they need to work to support their families. “Some Syrian children go to work to support their parents or other siblings,” she says.
The center offers a safe space for these kids where they can share their own experience and problems and learn through informal methods, be heard and be prepared for the challenges they face in their everyday life. “They found that is a pleasure for them and an escape for them from the problems that they are facing. No one will hold them accountable if they did something wrong,” clarifies Jihane.
The Bushra centre is supported by Youth Resolve, an EU Trust Fund project that aims to empower youths as leading actors and to strengthen social cohesion. It is implemented by World Vision, Questscope, Islamic Relief, Cafod and Generation for Peace and has been beneficial to more than 103,000 Jordanian, Lebanese, Iraqi and Syrian youth in Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq.