Jordan: Never Give Up

January 17, 2019

Jordan: Never Give Up

IOCC’s awareness sessions and livelihood support groups for men and women age 60+ offer emotional and practical support for refugees and Jordanians looking to remain active and productive members of their communities.

When Fawaz was 11, he went to work driving a tractor. He made a living this way for over 40 years, supporting a wife and family in their small Syrian village. They had a comfortable life, but as conflict spread, Fawaz—now in his 60s—decided his family would be better off elsewhere. In 2013 he, his wife, and two of their children moved to Jordan.

Finding a job in Amman was difficult; employers turned Fawaz away because of his age. Things he used to enjoy doing, like planting trees and tending animals, weren’t part of his routine anymore. Neither was visiting with neighbors.

Then Fawaz met an IOCC volunteer who told him about livelihood support groups for people his age. Implemented in partnership with HelpAge International, and with funding from the German Federal Foreign Office, this project brings together peers over age 60 to promote “positive aging,” including ways communities can support older persons who want to work and be productive. The groups provide participants with skills in selecting and applying for appropriate jobs and dealing with employers, and educate them on local labor law.

“These groups are exactly what we need to release the psychological stress we feel,” said Fawaz, “and … to find new ways to live our lives in a more positive and productive way. I will try hard to find a way to live a better life, and I will not give up.”