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Centre for landmine blast survivors opens in Amman

Sir Bobby Charlton Centre to support and coordinate physical and mental rehabilitation for civilian victims

By JT - Aug 22,2017 - Last updated at Aug 23,2017

The Sir Bobby Charlton Centre aims to support and coordinate physical and mental rehabilitation for civilian victims of conflict (Photo by Lindsey Leger)

AMMAN — The Sir Bobby Charlton Centre for Support and Rehabilitation on Tuesday opened its doors in Amman to help landmine blast survivors, who have fled the civil wars in Syria, Iraq, and other areas of conflict, a statement by the centre said. 

According to official figures, an estimated 1.4 million Syrian refugees are currently living in Jordan since fighting erupted in Syria in 2011, many of whom have faced additional severe challenges because of injuries from landmines and other explosive devices. 

The Sir Bobby Charlton Centre will be a joint venture between UK-based landmine charity “Find A Better Way”, the Polus Centre for Social & Economic Development, a US-based non-profit organisation specialised in supporting people with disabilities and victims of conflict, and Asia Development Training (ADT), a Jordanian-based charity that provides rehabilitation to survivors of conflict, the statement said. 

The centre aims to support and coordinate physical and mental rehabilitation for civilian victims of the Syrian conflict. 

Many challenges confront Syrian refugees, especially those who have lost a limb to a landmine blast. In addition to the challenges of recovering from physical injuries, many are at risk of developing significant mental health issues brought on by frequent exposure to trauma. These problems are often exacerbated by the young age of the victims, according to the statement. 

In a Migration Policy Institute survey of Syrian refugee youth published in 2015, it was reported that 79 per cent of Syrian refugee children had experienced a death in the family, while 60 per cent had seen someone get kicked, shot at or physically hurt, 30 per cent had themselves been kicked, shot at, or physically hurt. 

Forty-five per cent of those children displayed symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (10 times the prevalence among children around the world) and 44 per cent reported symptoms of depression, the survey indicated.

Despite these high rates of physical and mental trauma, there is only limited access to experienced providers who are able to treat refugees effectively. 

As Jordanian local facilities have struggled to cope with the flood of refugees, dozens of small, Syrian-community sponsored rehabilitation facilities have emerged around the country. However, many of these facilities have been forced to close due to inadequate funding for equipment, medication, medical supplies or for lack of rehabilitation expertise, the statement said. 

The new centre has been designed to support Syrian refugees directly and to act as a support for the other community-run centres across Jordan. It will provide rehabilitation services to hundreds of Syrian war wounded each year, especially children, and will also offer “Trainer of Trainer” programmes in several rehabilitation fields including physical therapy, child trauma, peer support and advance training in prosthetic/orthotic care and other mobility aides. 

Local and international subject matter experts will provide academic and “hands on practical training” in the fields of physical and psychological rehabilitation, according to the statement.

 

 “The stories of landmine blast survivors in Jordan, especially those who are children, are incredibly moving. I’m thrilled that Find A Better Way is opening this centre, and that it is the first of many planned to open around the world. But most of all I am extremely honoured that these centres will be named after me. It is a wonderful early 80th birthday present,” Sir Bobby Charlton, the British football legend, was quoted in the statement as saying

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