This May, we concluded the first round of training for CRP’s Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and Human Rights Awareness project funded by The Embassy of the Netherlands, Jordan. These 40 trainings, 20 for women and 20 for men, took place over two months’ time and discussed many issues relating to all forms of violence, including violence and the refugee experience and Arabic as a gendered language. The trainers themselves are CRP beneficiaries, and therefore brought a personable approach to the information presented, both to urban refugees from Syria and Iraq as well as to local Palestinian and Jordanian attendees.

One focus of the project is to engage men and boys in order to prevent GBV both in and outside of the home. This is the first project of its kind in Jordan, and the first targeting urban refugees, specifically.

Salem, one of the trainers for the male classes said, “I train people at CRP about how to prevent family violence. When I first began attending, the facts and information were all new to me personally and to many of the attendees. The classes generate a lot of discussion, and the whole class enjoys them as we share our perceptions, opinions, and problems with each other. We really need this–a place to share with others who may be going through similar issues–so we can benefit from each other.” Salem isn’t only using his newly developed skills and newfound information at the center, exclusively. “There has been a change in my family as a result of coming to CRP because of the things I’ve learned from the course and from others. At home, I am now implementing what I’ve learned in the sessions about how to better treat my family with my daughter and son.”

The trainings do not just focus on men and forget about women and their thoughts and feelings regarding the issue, giving them a safe space to discuss both their hopes and concerns. Sana’, one of the female trainers talked about this v

ery importance, “”The classes at CRP I enjoy the most are the gender violence sessions which I myself am a trainer in, I feel I have an importance, that I am able to do something big. Some people in the wider society may see this as simple or insignificant- that we are seeking women’s right – but for me this is a huge thing, because in my own family my parents always made me feel like I am a human just like my own brothers, they give me the rights that I wish everyone else can have.”

Not only are we empowering beneficiaries as trainers, but this project is empowering the community as well. “The participants are really benefiting from the sessions and are very engaged, after each class they thank me for reaching them. Before I used to always feel like I could not mix easily with people, because of the events that happened to me I felt like I could not communicate with people, but now I am a trainer and reaching people with such an important topic.”

CRP is excited to see how the next round of 40 sessions will be able to engage new community members and empower those who feel that they have lost everything.