Every Saturday teens gather at CRP to listen to speakers, partake in activities, and sometimes just to hang out. The meetings, sponsored by Rotary International, are designed to encourage creativity and foster friendships—which is especially important since many kids do not know other people their age when first arriving in Jordan.
Rose, a 15-year-old from Iraq, has been partaking in Teen Group since shortly after arriving in Jordan two years ago. “CRP invited someone to teach the teens about public speaking, which I really enjoyed and learned a lot from,” she said. “At a certain point I had to find something to talk about—they gave us a week to figure it out. Eventually, I chose to speak about the disease of depression.”
When families are forced to flee areas where they have lived their entire lives, children often suffer the most. Some our beneficiaries are forced to evacuate homes within hours, leaving with only what they could fit in their cars. When they arrive in Jordan, their children have left behind friends, family, and a sense of stability.
The Rotary-sponsored program also serves to provide young people with their first introduction to CRP’s other classes. Majed, another Iraqi beneficiary, first visited Teen Group at the encouragement of a friend. Now, he attends English classes, Teen Group, and even volunteers with After-School Club.
“I heard about CRP through my friends,” Majed said. “One of my friends asked me why I was still at home. He said, ‘why don’t you want to come with me to CRP and study English and meet new people?’ So, I came here and as soon as I arrived, I started making new friends.”
For many of the teenagers here, as well as adolescents in any other part of the world, boredom can play a huge role in development. It can lead to negative behavior, loneliness, and eventually depression.
Rose explained why she chose her topic for Teen Group, “I was interested in this because I went through it. It helped a bit to talk about it,” she said. “When I spoke about this, people paid attention, and they seemed to pay interest in the topic.”