5 Minute Inspiration: How vocational training helps Syrian refugees feel safer

by 02nd Oct 2018
Woman participating in sewing course, Jordan. Woman participating in sewing course, Jordan.

Syrian refugees in Jordan are learning new skills and building networks so they feel safer. Jordan’s urban protection response programme provided vocational training to both refugees and the Jordanian host community. 84% of participants say the project has improved their daily life because it allows them to meet new people and learn about new cultures. They said they like the skills they learn, but the most important part of the project seems to be the relationships people build with others. Here is what the project achieved. 

What did we accomplish?

  • Built social solidarity: 84% of participants said the programme changed their lives for the better because it allowed them to meet new people and learn new cultures. Women especially said they built friendships with other people in their class and were able to work together to solve their problems.
  • Influenced gender equality: 92% of people said the training contributed to gender equality in the household because women were more confident and empowered.
  • Improved incomes: 42% of people who took part in vocational training said they were able to use their new skills to access more income opportunities after the training.
  • Built skills: 90% of people thought the trainings were helpful, and 87% said they learned new skills.

How did we get there?

  • Bring communities together: The project works with both refugees and host community members. This is especially important because Syrians now make up 13% of the population in Jordan, and are putting stress on local markets.
  • Work with the local market: The project conducted an assessment to figure out which skills were most marketable in the areas where it works, and targets skills that are in demand so increase the chances of getting a job after. Cooking has been the most popular class so far.
  • Support start-up: After training, some people got materials to help start their businesses—like sewing machines for women in those classes.
  • Work with local partners: CARE trained local NGOs not only in the vocational skills, but also in areas like leadership, grants and finance, and stress management.

During 2016, Jordan’s urban protection response programme reached 2,799 direct beneficiaries—both refugees and Jordanian host community—with vocational trainings. These activities came from a collection of projects that make up the urban protection response with generous funding from the US Government (PRM), Global Affairs Canada, and DFID.

Want to learn more?

Check out the impact assessment from 2017.

Emily Janoch

Emily Janoch is Senior Technical Advisor on Knowledge Management for the CARE USA Food and Nutrition Security team focusing on ways to better learn from and share practical experience on eradicating poverty through empowering women and girls. She focuses on learning from programming and using that learning to improve impact.

With four years of on-the-ground experience in West Africa, 10 years of development experience, and academic publications on community engagement and the human element in food security in Africa, Emily is especially interested in community-led development. She has experience in food security, nutrition, health, governance, and gender programming, and has a BA in International Studies from the University of Chicago, and a Masters' in Public Policy in International and Global Affairs from the Harvard Kennedy School.

Email: ejanoch@care.org