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Princess Basma Centre in Irbid Enables Syrian Refugees to Adapt to Life Away From Home
07 March, 2016

The Jordan Times
By Laila Azzeh

IRBID-Intensive efforts are being exerted in Irbid Governorate, some 80km north of Amman, to empower local communities and better improve social solidarity.

The northern governorate is one of the regions that witnessed a "huge" influx of Syrian refugees, a reality that prompted donors and UN agencies to ramp up their activities there.

Aydoun, a small town in the northern governorate, hosts the Princess Basma Development Centre, which currently implements programmes in cooperation with Care, USAID, UNHCR, UNICEF and Mercy Corps.

Mohammad Jamous, a young man from Syria, said he was "afraid of loneliness" when he first arrived to Jordan.

"I lost my left leg in the war in Syria and I was terrified of the idea to come to a new country without knowing anyone. But that has changed now," said Jamous.

After registering at the Princess Basma centre, he was enrolled in a UNHCR programme that seeks to integrate Syrian refugees into the local community in order to help them overcome the social and psychological obstacles they face in a new environment.

Jamous is now member in the centre′s youth committees and assistant to a local football referee.

"We at the UNHCR truly value the efforts put forward by non-government organisations, especially JOHUD [Jordanian Hashemite Fund for Human Development] and other Jordanian partners in developing initiatives that target Syrians and their capabilities," Andrew Harper, the UNHCR representative to Jordan, told The Jordan Times on Sunday.

HRH Princess Basma, along with representatives of several international organisations, visited the centre on Sunday and listened to briefings by Jordanian and Syrian beneficiaries on projects implemented in Irbid.

Princess Basma distributed financial support to 35 students to continue their university studies and inaugurated a women′s gym at the centre funded by Mercy Corps.