A project providing vulnerable Iraqi children living in Jordan with psychosocial services is about to experience a rebirth thanks to a partnership agreement with the Noor Al Hussein Foundation’s Institute for Family Health (IFH), reached on Monday.

Terre des hommes Lausanne (Tdh), an international NGO, launched the project in September 2008 with funding from the European Commission and UNICEF Jordan, and although the funding ends in August 2011, the centre, located in Hashemi Shamali, will not be closing its doors.

Tdh formally recognised the partnership agreement during a ceremony yesterday, attended by Her Majesty, Queen Noor, according to a statement released by the King Hussein Foundation.

Project manager Steina Bjorgvinsdottir said the overall goal of the project was to provide Iraqi children and their families with specialised psychosocial assistance.

“In a move like this, when people become refugees, the family dynamics change so the work that we’ve done is to try to heal the family dynamics so that the family can come together as one and they can live a healthy family life,” she explained.

According to Bjorgvinsdottir, the project has helped more than 1,500 individuals by providing them with individual or family counselling since the centre first opened its doors in east Amman in September 2008.While the majority of the centre’s clients are Iraqi, Tdh also serves vulnerable Jordanian children and their families.

“This is quite special… although this is something that most international organisations would strive for, in practice it’s not something that takes place,” Bjorgvinsdottir noted, referring to the partnership with a local organisation that wants to continue the work.

IFH Director Manal Tahtamouni also commended the alliance, noting that the official handover ceremony marks an important milestone in Jordan, the celebration of a partnership between an international NGO and a national organisation.

“It’s a success story we need to present to the international family,” she said, adding that the institute has its work cut out, as it will have to secure new donor funding to continue offering psychosocial services at the centre beyond 2011, in addition to the comprehensive array of health services and outreach programmes it wants to offer.

“IFH will include health services, reproductive health, training and outreach activities… We will also try to target more vulnerable Jordanian families,” the statement quoted Tahtamouni as saying.

UNICEF Representative in Jordan Dominique Hyde also welcomed the partnership agreement.

“We are really glad the counselling for children and parents is continuing… Tdh did an extraordinary job of supporting vulnerable Iraqis and Jordanians in east Amman”, she said adding, “this is a real success story”.




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