Healing the Trauma of Syrian Refugee Children - In Jordan

For those wishing to do something concrete and with immediate impact to ease the suffering of the next generation in the Middle East - THIS IS WHAT CAN BE DONE
Steve Olweean
Climax, Michigan
United States
1 Team Member

In any war or conflict, it is the children who are the most vulnerable, the most devastated, and also the largest and fastest growing number of victims.

Because they are children they also have the least ability to heal and recover on their own, and so have the highest probability of carrying deeply imbedded and debilitating emotional scars into their future as the next generation in the Middle East - if nothing is done now

Right now, Hundreds of trauma therapists are volunteering their time, effort, and skills to provide desperately needed trauma treatment to thousands of Syrian refugee children in Jordan, while at the same time our team is building permanent local capacity to maintain and sustain this service by training hundreds of local health providers.
Among us is world renowned clown doctor, Patch Adams.

We are already providing this life-saving work. We need your support to continue and expand it.


While the politics and debates of this war in Syria go on endlessly, millions of innocent civilians wake every morning and suffer through each hour of each day, struggling to simply survive and cope with lives torn apart on all levels. For those living in this state of continual trauma and re-traumatization, survival is all that is on their minds. All ages and all walks of life are affected. There is no discrimination with terror, pain, and death on this vast scale, and the numbers are only accelerating as the entire society is now the victim. In the midst of this many are daily losing their childhood, all semblance of normalcy and balance with a world that is dissolving around them, and simply losing their lives. Many are without parents or even older siblings to care for them and must rely day to day on other families, who are themselves in dire conditions, or fend for themselves.

In a society with an undeveloped human service system and scarce resources to begin with, and an erupting humanitarian crisis, there are either no services or fledgling services that are completely overwhelmed and rapidly falling behind in capacity to meet even the most basic of needs.

It is the currently millions of displaced, emotionally scarred Syrian children who will most carry these deeply imbedded and continuing wounds into the future as a lost generation - and with it inherited trauma into generations to come, if we do nothing now.


The next 2-week treatment and training trip to the enormous Zaatari Syrian refugee camp in Jordan for our team of 30 expert healers and trainers is in the 2nd half of October

We have been fortunate to receive significant in-kind support and partnership in Jordan that allow us to accomplish a great deal with very little hard resources. We just need funds to cover out-of-pocket costs to us by our deadline in October.

This is why we need your help now - to raise $15,000 to get our team to Jordan so we can continue this urgently needed treatment for thousands caught up in and scarred by the machine of violence and war.


  • Whether $1 or thousands of dollars - all donations raised go toward direct services to refugees and training local therapists to continue serving them indefinitely. Out of pocket costs include: 
     1. Travel and staying in Jordan on these regular trips to provide services
     2. Medical and mental health treatment supplies needed to administer treatment, and
     3. Materials needed for conducting professional trainings that create a large local pool of permanent therapists

  •  If we are fortunate to go beyond the $15,000 that will be wonderful, as all additional funds go toward covering costs for our next treatment and training trips.

  • US Federal Tax Deduction Option:
    As an option, if you wish your donation to be Tax Deductible for US taxes you can quickly and easily do this by going directly to the website of the International Humanistic Psychology Association (IHPA), a 501(c)3 US federal nonprofit organization, and paying there through the convenient on-line donation feature located on the home page at: http://www.ihpaworld.org/

WHY $15,000

Obviously an initiative of this size and scope requires much more than $15,000 to operate and continue. 

Many times more than this has already been spent by those on our team who travel regularly to Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey providing these services.

Even with the phenomenal success we have achieved to date enlisting strategic partnerships with committed grass-roots humanitarian organizations who each contribute an essential piece of the larger puzzle to make this service happen on a shoe string budget, we now need to secure significant funding to carry it forward to it’s full potential, and at the level demanded by the erupting crisis flooding the region with new victims every day.

So while we are seeking these larger funds to expand and sustain this effort, we are reaching out through innovative person-to-person avenues like Indiegogo. Whether $1 from many or lots of dollars from those who have the ability to do more, this can quickly add up to what is needed for the next steps in front of us. In this case, our immediate next step is getting our team to Jordan again for a 2 week treatment and training mission in the massive Zaatari Syrian refugee camp in Jordan Camp.

Our goal here is modest in comparison to the financial challenge, because we only have 1 month to achieve our goal. But you can help make this happen for thousands of refugee children who need the support of your donation, right now!

Of course more than $15,000 means we immediately bring more treatment and training team members to do more, and return for our next trip much sooner.


Common Bond Institute (CBI) and International Humanistic Psychology Association (IHPA) are not-for-profit humanitarian aid organizations based in the US that for decades have provided free, compassionate, and culturally sensitive emergency health care services to refugees in developing countries traumatized by war and violence, and health service training to members of their communities. 

A bio on CBI is available at: www.cbiworld.org/Pages/CBI_Bio.pdf

We are currently engaged in two major initiatives that make up the Social Health Care (SHC) treatment and training program, in partnership with Jordanian relief organizations and our international network of universities and professional training institutes, to ease the immense suffering of Syrian children in Jordan.

 1) ALLEVIATING TRAUMA:  One program is providing desperately needed immediate emergency medical and mental health treatment services to the huge, overflowing Zaatari refugee camp stretched across barren desert in Jordan.

 2) TRAINING LOCAL THERAPISTS:  The 2nd program is a comprehensive, local capacity building training program quickly equipping hundreds of local students, adult refugees, and staff of relief organizations in proven trauma recovery skills so they can immediately and permanently expand this service to treat increasingly more victims. The idea is to invest in the local human service and academic system to grow permanent local ability and self-reliance that progressively reduces the need for continued outside aid.

DETAILS on our innovative Social Health Care (SHC) treatment and training program are available at: www.cbiworld.org/Pages/Training_HC.htm


Rather than only relying on outside assistance - that is temporary, limited, and ends when the outside service providers leave, we travel to Jordan regularly to provide immediate healing services to deeply wounded children - while at the same time build permanent local capacity to maintain and sustain this service by training health providers, and include adult members of the refugees community itself in the pool of trainees. 

We partner directly with local professional non-governmental organizations in Jordan to assist us in enlisting suitable trainees, managing all on-the-ground logistics, and eventually taking on full and permanent responsibility for operating and continuing these vital healing services 24/7. We also partner with local universities to help train and produce new professionals in the health services fields to serve their societies. 

On each 2 week trip our team of skilled health professionals is going into the camps to provide direct services to refugees, and also conducting these intensive trainings equipping more and more local trauma therapists with the effective skills to continue this service. 


For over 23 years CBI has organized more than 40 major international practical conferences on conflict transformation and social healing around the world, and numerous local capacity building human service programs in developing countries that are regions of conflict aiding victims of those conflicts. We have provided these vital relief services to communities in Russia, Eastern Europe, the Balkans, Caucuses, Middle East, and Caribbean, and have established a respected reputation and international network of colleagues profoundly devoted to compassionate humanitarian service at the grass roots level. 


Our amazing trainers and healers are a unique, diverse, and interdisciplinary combination of expert health professionals, including * psychologists, * psychiatrists, * medical doctors, * nurses, * social workers, * special education teachers, * expressive arts therapists, and * rehabilitation therapists, some of who are also clowns, like Patch Adams, puppeteers, musicians, singers, dancers, storytellers, and artists

We bring proven therapeutic treatment skills, compassion, hope, and the resilience building element of joy  to the children we serve, always adapting our methods to be culturally sensitive and deeply honoring of the local community and it’s traditions.


CBI trainers and service workers provide their help free of charge, often paying out of our own personal pockets to travel and stay in troubled regions to do this vital, life-saving work. This current effort in Jordan addresses a massive, catastrophic level humanitarian crisis that requires a much greater investment of time, energy, and materials than in the past. Many skilled colleagues are stepping forward to join us in this initiative. As both our number of professional volunteers and our capacity to provide these critically needed services is steadily growing, so are our out-of-pocket costs to do this important work . 

This is why we are asking your help. 

We need the energy of your financial support to combine with the energy of our front-line work.   




For anyone who listens to the troubling news and wishes there was something that could be done to ease the suffering of this enormous and growing number of innocent and helpless victims - something tangible with immediate impact  - THIS IS WHAT CAN BE DONE.

The next generation in the Middle East is struggling to regain balance and security in their relationship with the world

Whether $1 or $5,000, your contribution is a concrete act with the direct results of healing the trauma of a refugee child, and directly affecting their life, now and into the future.




Other Ways You Can Help

Spread the word about our campaign to heal refugee children

  • Link your social media sites to our campaign
  • Ask others to do the same 
  • Tell your family, friends, and community
  • In-kind support is always welcome

Find This Campaign On
raised in 2 months
20% funded
No time left
Verified Nonprofit
$15,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on November 21, 2013
Select a Perk
  • $25USD
    E-card thank you

    A thank you E-card from one of the children helped

    0 out of 1000 claimed
  • $50USD
    E-card Thankyou & book marker

    A thank you E-card and a book marker made by one of the children helped.

    1 out of 500 claimed
  • $100USD
    Copies of Pictures

    An attached file with copies of several of the refugee children's drawings or paintings, plus the above perk

    1 out of 240 claimed
  • $200USD
    Child’s thank you letter

    A personal thank you letter from a child in the refugee camp who is helped, plus the above perks

    0 out of 120 claimed
  • $500USD
    Child's picture or painting

    A hard copy of a drawing or painting by one of the refugee children helped, plus the above perks.

    1 out of 60 claimed
  • $1,000USD
    Signed picture with thank you

    Signed hard copy of your choice of a drawing or painting by one of the refugee children helped, with a thank you message written on it, plus the above perks.

    0 out of 30 claimed
  • $5,000USD
    Signed pictures and video

    Signed hard copies of your choice of a 4 drawings or paintings by refugee children helped with a thank you message written on each, a brief video message of thanks from a child helped, plus the above perks.

    0 out of 15 claimed
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