Supported by UNHCR and operated by JOHUD, Nuzha is the first community centre in Jordan to cater for all refugee communities in Jordan. Opened in 2018, almost two years later the centre has become a vital part of community life, providing protection, registration and education support for refugees living in Amman.
At its heart is the Community Support Committee, made up of 12 refugees and Jordanian volunteers who set the direction, suggest activities and act as community liaisons, providing support and advice to the most vulnerable families. A cash-for-work financial incentive is provided to the Committee members, to allow them to cater for themselves in exchange for their contribution to the community.
These are their stories:
22 years old when he left Syria, Nasser, originally from Damascus, now 30 describes how he has been through a whole host of jobs since he graduated high school.
“At Nuzha, it doesn’t matter what nationality you are, or even that you are a refugee. Here we support everyone.”
Married with four children aged between 16 and 25, Sanaa originally from Damascus worries like any other mother when talking about the future of her children.
“When I first stepped on Jordanian soil, I looked at my husband and knew that this was going to be a different life. He was injured during the conflict and so I had to take on the burden of providing an income for my family.”
Amitab’s life has been one on the move. Born in Baghdad to a Christian family 29 years ago, he recalls how his childhood was spent between going to school in the city and visiting his extended family and grandparents who lived in Dohuk in the holidays.
As one of the four Jordanian members of the Community Support Committee (CSC) at Nuzha community centre in East Amman, Linda emphasizes the importance of providing support to both refugees and Jordanians.
“I want other refugees to be able to establish a life like I have. I know I have been lucky to have these opportunities, why can’t everyone.”
Ten years in a camp for internally displaced persons in Sudan. Six years as a refugee in Jordan. Hajj, now 34 years old, has spent almost half his life away from the village where he grew up in Darfur, Sudan.
“When people challenge me on why we support refugees, this is the story I tell them. They are our brothers and sisters, regardless of where they come from.”
“As Somali’s we have a lot of good examples of this. Mo Farah in the UK, Ahmed Hussein in Canada, Ilhan Omar in the US. This gives me hope and shows what we can achieve if we are given the opportunity.”
With some 15,000 Yemeni refugees living in Jordan, Mohammad is determined to try and advocate on their behalf through his position at Nuzha.