Iba’a is a social worker. She joined Handicap International’s team in Jordan two and a half years ago. Since then, she has worked in each of the three bases in the country. Every day Iba'a provides assistance to Syrian refugees living in urban areas and in refugee camps. This former sales representative explains how the Syrian crisis helped her find her vocation.
“Before the war broke out in Syria, I was working for a multinational company," she explains. "But when I saw the refugees arrive in our country, I wanted to help. I started working on a project run by Handicap International that provides refugee families in Jordan with financial assistance. Then after a short time, I became one of Handicap International’s social workers. I like my work a lot and feel fulfilled professionally. I meet new people every day and it’s particularly satisfying to know that I’m doing something useful to help them.”
“But meeting so many people means you have to be very adaptable. The people we work with have very different mentalities and cultures. We help Syrians but also Iraqis, Jordanians, and others. They all come from very different countries and their experiences are never the same. It’s very rewarding, working alongside them every day, but you also need to be really open minded. In my profession, you have to work on yourself too.”
“I’ve had a lot of very powerful experiences since I joined Handicap International. One person who particularly stood out was a little girl named Reem, who I met in Zaatari camp. She had been injured in a bomb attack. The first time we met her, she was really sad and didn’t want to talk. Over time, she became comfortable with me and we grew really close. I also remember an 18-year-old boy who really motivated me. He had been injured in Syria too. As soon as he arrived in the camp, he took language courses and asked to become a volunteer for us. He was simply driven by the desire to help, despite what had happened to him. His determination paid off and he now works in Sweden for an organization that helps Syrian refugees.”
“People tend to see humanitarian aid as something that is set in time. But our assistance goes well beyond donations or rehabilitation sessions. We think a lot about the future of the people we meet and what’s going to happen to their families. Handicap International doesn't just help them now, but we think about their future and ways they can get the most out of life.”