Emotional Resilience Among Women and Youth in Northeast Syria

Navigating the world as a young person is already daunting. When coupled with displacement and trauma, it can be unimaginably hard. Blumont aims to protect, support, and engage young adults and children living in displacement camps in northeast Syria.

Um Mohammed, a Syrian woman with young children, had been grappling with severe depression since her arrival at the camp several years ago. “I started avoiding getting out of the house and completely avoiding interacting with others,” she said.  For camp residents struggling with mental health or isolation, our protection team organizes activities designed to help people process trauma, acquire new skills, form friendships, and build confidence amid challenging circumstances.

Women and teenage girls can attend emotional support sessions hosted by Blumont’s protection team at displacement camps in northeast Syria.

Blumont’s protection initiatives include emotional support sessions for women and teenage girls, as well as community-wide awareness sessions and celebrations on important topics and issues. These include women’s rights, gender-based violence prevention, cultural topics, and more. The focus on emotional and social well-being is a pillar of our layered support for displaced people in Syria.

Additionally, our team values social activities that build life skills and engage people of all ages. From vocational training to youth activities, and from financial literacy to library sessions, there is something for everyone. Blumont tailors programs by age group and by gender so participants can feel comfortable and supported.

Um Mohammed began her healing journey when she joined one of Blumont’s emotional support groups, having heard about it from a neighbor. She said, “At first, I was completely unenthusiastic about the idea, as a result of my dark view of the state I was in, even though my desperate need for psychological care was obvious.” Encouraged by women around her, Um Mohammed decided to participate.

Children living in displacement camps in northeast Syria can participate in social activities at Blumont’s community centers.

The emotional support groups provide a structured environment for women and girls to discuss difficult issues.  The women’s curriculum, consisting of 6-10 sessions, is designed by our team of experts with backgrounds in psychology and sociology. For youth, we hold 16 sessions, creating a safe space for them to navigate hardships. Camp residents can also seek support from our protection team outside of the support sessions and activities.

Our team helps build a healthy support system where participants can share experiences and feel connected during difficult times. Participants have mentioned that the network they are creating is having a positive effect on the community around them, including fewer incidents of gender-based violence.

“The emotional support groups help women and girls with self-compassion. This, in turn, will empower them to be stronger and to support others in their community,” said Wijdan, a Blumont protection officer.

Um Mohammed said, “I’m gradually starting to feel a return to life. I regained my confidence in myself and the people around me and made new friends with other women by participating in emotional support sessions.” Envisioning a positive ripple effect in her own family, she encourages her children to participate in Blumont’s youth activities, too.

“I want to be an example for other women to be encouraged in giving themselves a chance to recover and get out of the cycle of isolation and rejection,” said Um Mohammed.