Outreach Services for Syrian & Iraqi Refugees
The goal of IRD’s Outreach for Syrian and Iraqi Refugees (OSIR5) Program, funded by UNHCR, is to strengthen outreach as a holistic activity encompassing protection assistance, early identification, and rapid intervention measures for vulnerable Syrian and Iraqi refugee families in Jordan. Now in its fifth year, the program depends on 150 trained Iraqi, Syrian, and Jordanian volunteers, who visit vulnerable families in their homes, ensure that refugees are receiving UNHCR services, and work with the refugee community to build awareness of refugee rights. IRD and the outreach volunteers work with refugee community leaders to organize community advisory committees that support the volunteers, help resolve problems, and identify needy refugee families that are not registered with UNHCR. The committees also organize a variety of activities that help integrate displaced groups within their host community. OSIR is now reaching Syrian families living in households and shelters throughout Jordan’s northern and southern Governorates.
More than 154,000 refugees were registered with UNHCR at the end of October 2012, and an additional 85,000 were living in Zaatari Camp. Through the outreach volunteers, UNHCR assists Iraqi and Syrian refugees in Jordan and directs them to available services such as health care, legal protection and other programs to improve quality of life. The outreach program enables UNHCR to understand and address the needs of a changing and cautious refugee population.
Outreach & Home Visits: Volunteers and their supervisors are divided into teams of 10 to conduct a minimum of 3,000 visits during the life of the project. Volunteers are trained on human and refugee rights, team work, communication skills, leadership skills, problem solving, resource management, documentation and reporting procedures, and referral system and needs assessments. Outreach to Syrian refugees is conducted by 2 teams of 30, comprised of Syrian refugees and a supervisor. This will enable IRD to conduct 12,000 Syrian refugee visits over the life of the project.
Financial & Cash Assessment: Trained volunteers will conduct nearly 3,000 cash assessments for Iraqi refugees, and more than 16,000 for the Syrian refugee population living in urban settings.
Community Advisory Committees: In order to mobilize the Iraqi and Syrian community, the project formed 15 community advisory committees located in Amman, Madaba, Zarqa, Irbid, Mafraq, Ramtha, Ma’an, Karak and inside Zaatari Camp. Members attend workshops and training sessions focused on issues pertaining to refugees, which they in turn share with their community through various activities. The committees offer an outlet for social interaction for entire refugee families, helping to alleviate the isolation they often feel. The program works with community based organizations who share their facilities for various community activities. During the fifth phase of OSIR, IRD will work with the committees to implement longer-term community service activities that are more sustainable and beneficial.
Training & Awareness Building: Awareness and training sessions are organized and implemented by volunteers and community advisory committee members. Topics have included leadership skills, advocacy, gender in development, conflict and negotiation skills, project cycle management, proposal writing, enterprise monitoring, evaluation tools, human and refugee rights, protection and legal issues.
Quick Impact Projects: Community advisory committees and community based organization members play a strategic role in identifying relevant, small scale Quick Impact Projects (QIP) within each of the communities and mobilizes Syrians to implement such initiatives with minimal associated costs
Camp Zaatari: IRD manages community mobilization and communal kitchens in the Zaatari camp that is located in North Jordan and is currently hosting approximately 85,000 Syrian refugees.
The Outreach Services for Iraqi Refugees project is funded by UNHCR and managed by IRD. It is scheduled to run January–December 2013.