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Painting glass as a psychosocial intervention: reflections of a psychosocial refugee outreach volunteer in Damascus, Syria

Ismael, Maha

doi: 10.1097/WTF.0000000000000007
Special Section on Syria

This personal reflection describes the experience of a psychosocial refugee outreach volunteer in Syria. Born and raised in Iraq, the author fled with her family to Syria in an attempt to escape the violence. Trained as an English teacher and educational psychologist in her home country, she volunteered to help other refugees in Syria and describes this as challenging, but very rewarding. Key factors to be able to continue her work are the importance of weekly supervision and being part of a team. Her work includes the facilitation of peer support groups, including groups where participants learn practical skills, such as painting glass objects. As well as providing refugees with some additional income, they also benefit from the mutual support they receive.

Maha Ismael is a psychosocial outreach volunteer with the mental health and psychosocial support programme of UNHCR in Damascus, Syria. email: i_m20111@yahoo.com

© 2013 War Trauma Foundation, Diemen, The Netherlands