The SuperGirls meet twice a week in CRP’s ‘elephant room’, where they sit together in a circle, play games, sing songs, and talk about their lives. Many of the girls fled their homeland with their families because of conflict, and are dealing with trauma. Here are the stories of three of CRP’s SuperGirls…
Sana’ is twelve years old, and comes from Homs, Syria. She left her home five years ago, when the war started and the army came to her town. After one of her family members was killed, her parents decided to move the family to safety in Amman. When Sana’ first came to SuperGirls, she was struggling a lot with memories of the war, and suffering from nightmares. Activities like dance, yoga and storytelling have helped Sana’ begin to recover from trauma and gain confidence. Sara, who runs the SuperGirls program, says that now she is ‘the boss among the other girls’, and that ‘she seems to finally feel that she is safe in Amman’.
Laylah is 12 years old and moved from Iraq to Jordan two years ago. She and her family fled their home because of sectarian violence, and threats that were made to her family. Laylah is Iraqi, so she can’t enrol in school here in Amman. She loved going to school in Iraq, and is sad that all her friends who stayed there are getting an education while she has to stay at home. Before coming to CRP, she was lonely and shy, because she had no siblings or friends to have fun with. SuperGirls has helped her to open up. She loves playing chess and chatting with the other girls. Sara says that ‘when she first came, she hardly talked at all, but now you can’t get her to stop talking!’
Raghada is Jordanian, and came to Supergirls as a very shy eleven year old. Her mother hoped that the program would help her to come out of her shell. And it did! Raghda likes leading the other girls in clapping rhythms – a game designed to help the girls to focus and connect with each other. At the recent Supergirl’s graduation party, Raghda stole the show, welcoming the parents and introducing the performances with a microphone in her hand and a smile on her face! Raghda has graduated now, but she comes back to volunteer with the new group of SuperGirls every week. Even better, Raghda and Laylah have become best friends, and Raghda brings her schoolbooks home to share with Laylah.
Sara, a refugee from Syria who fled the country with her family when the war started, is one of CRP’s most treasured volunteers. She runs the SuperGirls program.
Sara says that ‘the transformation I see in the girls before and after they’ve taken part in the program is amazing’. Drawing, storytelling, and dance help them to open up about their past, and let go of their fears. These girls are living in difficult situations here in Amman; many of their fathers have died or stayed behind in Iraq or Syria. Jordanian law makes it difficult for many of them to enrol in school here. Their families struggle to pay the rent.
SuperGirls is a sanctuary where they can learn, play and make friends. The sessions are calm and structured, and every activity is carefully designed. The girls sing traditional songs from their home countries – so that, Sara explains, ‘danger and violence are not all that they remember of the places they left behind’. They sit on the floor, facing each other in a circle, so that they feel grounded, and everyone is listened to. Breathing and meditation exercises help the girls learn how to deal with stress and anxiety. Every session begins with the girls saying together ‘I wish that everything I do, think and say will always help people and never hurt anyone.’
Will you help them? Donate here to support CRP’s community center programs.