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‘Empowered to share’, how Arwa went from learning to trainer after taking course

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(Illustration: Handout Generations for Peace)
AMMAN — When Arwa was selected a core member in the “Improving Protection Spaces and Practices (IPSP) for Syrians and Jordanians in Host Communities” program, she was thrilled but anxious at the same time.اضافة اعلان

Although she was previously a trainer with other program, she dreaded the idea of coaching her colleagues from the Ministry of Youth, given that she was the youngest.

At 28, Arwa felt she was given an opportunity to challenge herself and step out of her comfort zone.

Despite her anxiety, she knew that it was a chance to evolve. 

 Arwa had no previous knowledge of protection issues. She was not so naive as to think we lived in a utopian city, where atrocities did not exist. But she never viewed protection issues as urgent or as a priority to be addressed. She did not understand the urgency of what lay under its umbrella. 

 The program’s training consisted of five intensive days on protection concepts. It delved into child protection in depth, covering child labor, what was identified as abuse, related laws and legislation, and referral procedures. It also addressed gender-based violence (GBV).
I realized child protection is a holistic concept. It involves society as a whole and should not be limited to parents and families
“I didn’t understand the meaning of protection at first, I thought our culture was a safe one,” Arwa recalled. “I felt enlightened to learn about protection issues and their different dimensions.”

“Day by day, I developed a greater interest and was keen to learn more,” she noted. She never missed a day of training and was very attentive.  

 “I realized child protection is a holistic concept. It involves society as a whole and should not be limited to parents and families,” said Arwa.

With that mindset, she felt a sense of ownership and responsibility for raising awareness about child protection and GBV. “I felt I was in the right place at the right time. I was empowered with knowledge that I wanted to share [with others], starting with my colleagues.”

Arwa felt ready to move into the second phase of the program and to start training her colleagues from the Youth Ministry. 

 At the beginning of training, there was some resistance from the participants. Many did not see the point of learning about protection issues. “You want to teach us how to take care of our kids?” some participants would say, according to Arwa,

She said she knew that she needed to have patience as she was sure their attitudes came from ignorance about the true meaning of protection. 
The most important thing that the participants and I learned was that the Jordanian law protects children and reporters of child abuse. It is vital that society is aware of such laws and children are taught their rights. This is where the value of this program lies
  The training covered eight days and involved 35 participants. Arwa noticed changes in their attitudes from the second and third days. Those participants who were sceptical at first started suggesting hypothetical cases and asking how to deal with them, if they occurred.

Others mentioned examples of child abuse cases that they knew existed. With passion and determination, Arwa delivered the training and encouraged the participants to report cases of child abuse using the right procedure.

Building on the participants’ positive feedback and the program’s impact, the the Youth Ministry. is developing a child protection program to be implemented in youth centers across the Kingdom. 

 “The most important thing that the participants and I learned was that the Jordanian law protects children and reporters of child abuse. It is vital that society is aware of such laws and children are taught their rights. This is where the value of this program lies,” Arwa said, citing her recollection of the program. 

 On a personal level, Arwa gained expertise in protection issues and elevated her skills as a trainer. “Now, I understand the importance and urgency of child protection and aim to raise awareness about it.”

She was asked to deliver workshops and awareness sessions for women from host communities at multiple youth centers in Mafraq. In the bigger picture, Arwa believes that enlightening one individual with knowledge can lead to a multiplied impact and, eventually, an educated society with no tolerance for abuse or violence in any form. 


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