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A big change in a little boy’s life

Zain - CATCH Project

Zain Meshreef fled Syria to Jordan with his family when he was a baby; their journey to safety was tough and long . Zain’s shy personality was transformed when he started attending psychosocial support activities in ActionAid Community Centre in Zarqa

Zain was a small baby when  he fled from Syria to Jordan; he was in his father’s hands with a blue blanket on top of him, “I held him tight with fear, it was dark and I was walking slowly”, said Zain’s father.

Even though Zain and his father were crossing the boarders alone, his father tried his best to reach safety, “crossing the boarder to Jordan was hard but I had to do it for my son”.

Zain and his father stayed in Zaa’tri Camp when they first arrived, but their stay there didn’t last long. “Number “6” was the number of our tent, life in the camp was really hard especially for a single father and his son, the services were bad”. So Zain’s father decided to move to Irbid in North Jordan where he found work, they stayed there for one year before relocating to Zarqa.  

“Life here is better than the camp, I am married now, but for Zain who is now 6 years old, things are more difficult. It is hard for him to adapt in Zarqa’s community, because of the social differences, he refuses to attend school, even though I have tried several times to talk to him” Zain’s father explained.

Zain’s started psychosocial support activities as part of a project in ActionAid’s Zarqa community center, “he was shy, he always sat alone in the corner not willing to talk to other children” Khaled, ActionAid’s Youth Activities Facilitator explained. Initially Zain didn’t like attending the sessions in the center and that was a challenge for his father and the facilitator. After several sessions Zain’s father noticed a dramatic change, “his behavior changed in home, he talked differently with me and he shared the things he learnt at the community center” Whilst at ActionAid’s Community Centre, Khaled also noticed a change “he started having new friends, I watch him approaching other children to play with. This was a huge change for Zain”. 

The psychosocial activities implemented in ActionAid’s community center in Zarqa governorate north Jordan, aim to increase children's social and psychological well-being, through objected oriented activities using art tools (Art (drawing), Drama/ Theatre, Music/ RAP, and Puppets Theatre), in order to process difficult memories and find strength to believe in the future and trust their own abilities. Activities are led by a trained youth facilitator.


Youth are trained on different techniques and methods to handle different child behaviors. In addition, they are also trained on leadership skills, supporting them to take more of a role in their communities by leading campaigns or community initiatives to improve social cohesion amongst Syrian refugee and host communities. The aim is to create more cohesive communities for the children’s future.

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