UNHCR in Syria, in collaboration with our partner NGO GOPA, opens a new community center in AL-Sulaimanieh neighborhood in Aleppo city.
UNHCR, The UN Refugees Agency in Syria in collaboration with its partner Department of Ecumenical Relations and Development (GOPA) has opened a new community center in AL-Sulaimanieh neighborhood- Aleppo city, a neighborhood that was worst affected by the fighting in 2015.
“We worked very hard to meet the opening date, so tired but happy”, said Carolina, the Community Center Manager, “I think this center will be so busy serving communities in the coming few weeks”.
To keep the community center doors pen, 18 skilled and trained staff members are ready to serve the different needs of people from the displaced and the host community. Though, the center is expected to help up to 20,000 people, children, women, men and elderly monthly.
Services provided at this center will include child protection activities, psychosocial support, recreational activities, remedial classes, homework café, vocational training, in addition to establishing women and children committees to enforce the community-based protection.
With a big catchment area, displaced, returnees and host families met together with teams from UNHCR and GOPA on 16 March to celebrate the opening of the new center in AL-Sulaimanieh neighborhood.
Jeff Wilkinson, UNHCR Protection Officer, while cutting the Opening Ceremony ribbon on behalf of Aleppo Sub-Office Head, said: “The location of this new Community Center facilitates easier access to much-needed services and activities, building upon GOPA’s established presence to help strengthen ties with the community-at-large.’ He continued “I’m very optimistic that our GOPA colleagues will make it a success and look forward to working with them to serve the needs of displaced persons and local residents residing in the area.”
UNHCR and other humanitarian organisations are continuing to respond to the needs of Aleppo residents. Protection efforts in Aleppo are ongoing, with many families already having returned to their homes or having moved into other accommodation with friends and relatives. As of mid-March, over 25,000 people have received protection services in Aleppo, the largest number (41.8%) are child protection cases.
In light of the critical needs in Aleppo governorate and as the community centers proved to be an effective tool to reach vulnerable people and provide them with protection services, UNHCR is going to increase the number of its community centers and other forms of help in Aleppo governorate.