A Window of Opportunity

Tuesday 17 June 2014

Back in Syria 26 year old Adel was a university student majoring in Arabic literature. Due to the escalating violence in Syria, Adel was forced to drop out of school for his own safety and fled to neighboring Jordan for refuge in May 2012. He has been residing in Irbid a northern governorate in Jordan. With limited job opportunities in the host communities, youth are among the most vulnerable.

“In Jordan I spent most of my days at home feeling unmotivated with nothing to look forward to,” shared Adel, “I wanted to learn mobile phone maintenance, but I couldn’t afford the costs for any trainings.”

Off camp refugees find it difficult to access aid due to the lack of knowledge or remoteness from relief centres, as opposed to refugees living in camps where humanitarian aid is easily and widely accessible.

“It’s very difficult to live without an income. I found construction jobs on a day by day basis and also as a painter. Being a refugee it is extremely difficult to find a stable job opportunity,” said Adel.

Save the Children established a vocational training program for Syrian and non-Syrian youth in four border towns in Jordan’s North region. In coordination with the Government of Jordan’s Vocational Training Centers, Save the Children is training  youth in a ten days training program focused on financial and market literacy, saving and lending approach and non-technical skills such as problem solving, decision making, dependability, positive attitude, cooperativeness and punctuality, planning and resource management.

Adel said, “a friend of mine who was taking part in the training, informed me about this course that Save the Children is offering for free which is exactly the opportunity I needed,”

The trainings consist of theoretical and practical components. Adel took part in a programming and software course and maintenance of different kinds of software including mobile phones which is what Adel was looking for. Being certified from the training course, Adel now has wider options in the job market and it would be easier for him to find a job at a mobile phone shop now that he is qualified enough.

The training program not only augmented the adolescents’ critical employability skills and ability to engage in economic income generating activities, but also enhance their self-esteem, commitment to learning, social interaction skillsand personal values.

“The training allowed me to make new friends and had a positive impact on my personality and outlook on my situation even as difficult as it is. I now see opportunities in sigh for me. The training course gave me a sense of hope to pursue my goals,” share d Adel, “I am much more confident in my ability and because I know I have the knowledge and skill set to find work, whether here in Jordan or if I return to Syria.”