Two girls. Two stories. One friendship. Mais, who comes from Jordan, and Reema, who fled from Syria, are best friends. At school, they found each other and now they laugh together, grow together as well as help each other.
Mais and Reema are nine years old. They are best friends. „She is my best friend. We love each other a lot,“ says Mais. Mais grew up in Jordan. Reema is a refugee from Syria. But they feel the same. „We are just normal friends. Except my dialect is Syrian. She speaks Jordanian,“ says Reema.
There are more than 600.000 Syrian refugees in Jordan. The Red Cross and Red Crescent aim to create trust between Syrians and locals.
„We were just talking and then we became friends,“ Mais says.
Reema remembers her friends in Syria. „I pray that they are safe now,“ Reema says. But Mais is a friend for life. Reema says: „She has a warm heart and is very generous. She is Jordanian, but sometimes she speaks to me in Syrian. We just play and laugh and have fun together.“
Friendship and peaceful co-existence
The friendship between Mais and Reema is a good example of a peaceful and human coexistence. A coexistence that is not to be sure when the livelihoods are scarce – when vulnerable locals and refugees meet. The Jordan National Red Crescent Society therefore promotes social cohesion in the host communities: Especially among young people, the Red Crescent raises awareness about rights, maintaining the dialogue as well as diplomatic behavior and supports local initiatives and activities for social cohesion. In addition, refugees and vulnerable people in the host communities receive vocational training and support to start their own businesses.
MADAD: Aid in Syria’s neighbouring countries
The assistance in Jordan is a part of the international MADAD programme. 15 Red Cross and Red Crescent societies – lead by the Danish Red Cross – are working together to support up to one million Syrian refugees and host communities in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt. The aim is to improve the living conditions and the resilience of the people, but also to strengthen a peaceful co-existence. The MADAD programme is funded by the European Union through a trust fund of 49 million Euro.
Photos: Rikke Østergård