Istanbul, Turkey: Working in four different countries of refuge and also inside Syria, Insan Organisation which translates from Arabic as the human being, is doing efforts of psychological support helping anyone who needs it. “We have a global and regional vision but due to the situation of Syrians and the hardships they are facing, it is normal that they are the most beneficial from our services,” Said Kholoud El- Dahab, the Executive Manager of Insan Organisation in Istanbul
Insan was established on 2011 after the first rape case was documented in the Syrian city of Homs. It was founded by Syrian psychology specialists who left the country during the 1980s, so they connected together from different parts of the world and worked on the project together.
According to the UNCHR, more than 5 million have fled Syria and most of them are located in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt and these are the place where Insan organisation is working now, in addition Saudi Arabia and Ghouta inside Syria. “Due to the exceeding need of such a service this group of Syrians living outside the country initiated the project and started to train people inside Syria, and when the numbers of refugees escalated they decided to establish different branches in the refuge areas, “ Says Kholoud El-Dahab
Training and Supporting
Ms El-Dahab explained that at the beginning people working for the organisation inside Syria used to go out from cities like Homs and Ghouta to attend training in Turkey but now and due to the increasing difficulties of getting out, the training is conducted online. The work depends on the volunteers from different countries as the psychological support according to Ms El-Dahab, doesn’t need a specialised person but it definitely needs a trained one and they work under the supervision of specialised people. “But when it comes to psychotherapy that some cases need it, we refer them to specialised doctors for the job” She added
The organisation has projects and campaigns supporting women and children, for example, a program called The Five Needs and is used to support and address the children’s needs that are shaken due to the events they have encountered during the conflict, the five needs are safety, trust, cooperation, control, and trust. There are also programs for orphans and programs of support by art.
From time to time the organisation starts a campaign to serve a certain need, like the one that was conducted in some orphanages in Gaziantep and in Northern parts of Syria, the campaign is called “He- GOD- Appreciated Me” which aimed to raise awareness among children and their mothers about the sexual harassment that might happen to children, educating them on how to act if this happens and the protection needed to avoid it. They used creative tools for this purpose as experts working in the organisation wrote a story and created its characters as dolls and this helped the children to understand the subject more. The organisation also cares about psychological education and they always print pamphlets and brochures for that purpose and from time to time organise conferences.
Connecting with People:
The organisation reaches people through social media and through establishing connections with the Syrian organisations, cultural and social centres in the cities they work in. They also visit the camps like Al Zaatari in Lebanon
“At the beginning the people didn’t accept the psychological support and due to the wrong spread culture in the Arab world it was a bit difficult to the extent that when we used to visit some places, they used to tell us to not mention psychological support but now and due to the exceeding need of such a thing people started to search for help, the culture didn’t change but the need made people more accepting of the idea.” Ms Kholoud explained
“Whatever we are doing now will have more impact on the future of our country when the conflict ends, actually it affects better in the future than now” She added.