Amman, Jordan – June 2022: At a closing ceremony held on June 29, 2022,  with the presence and participation of His Excellency Mohammad Faris Nabulsi, Minister of Youth, Generations For Peace (GFP) concluded the “Improving Protection Spaces and Practices (IPSP) for Syrians and Jordanians in Host Communities” programme, funded by the European Regional Development and Protection Programme in Support of Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq (RDPP II), and implemented in strategic partnership with the Jordanian Ministry of Youth (MoY). A group of dignitaries attended the ceremony including Dr. Mohanned Arabiat, President of Generations For Peace, Mr. Peter Kostohryz, Liaison and Project Manager at RDPP II, youth centre representatives, and IPSP volunteers and participants.

Since its launch in November 2020, IPSP has promoted inclusion and social cohesion in areas affected by conflicts resulting from the Syrian refugee crisis, by building the capacities and skills of MoY employees who interact with local host communities. IPSP has benefited 854 employees and members of various MoY-affiliated youth centres across the Kingdom. GFP specialists trained 346 of the employees on protection and gender-based violence, case identification, referral, and safety standards, to enable them to provide high-quality protection services to children and youth. Meanwhile, 2,170 Jordanian and Syrian youth directly benefited from IPSP, of whom 360 male and female volunteers and participants attended intensive training sessions. Focusing on Advocacy For Peace and community needs assessments, the sessions enhanced their expertise and enriched their ability to address and transform conflict in their communities.

To ensure sustainability of impact, the last phase of IPSP provided financial grants to 10 MoY-affiliated youth centres in governorates that host the largest number of Syrian refugees in Jordan – Amman, Zarqa, Irbid, and Mafraq – to establish quick-impact projects. These will include safe spaces that are equipped to facilitate different activities and events to help develop the life skills of the centre’s visitors, raise awareness about protection, and address community issues based on the annual plans of each centres. In addition, protection corners were established in 80 centres across 13 directorates of the MoY, to implement youth initiatives and activities led by the Ministry staff members. IPSP also contributed to developing a protection protocol for the MoY to be implemented across all its directorates, and conducted community mapping to enhance cooperation with other protection-related institutions.

Commenting on the programme’s progress and its impact on the Ministry of Youth, His Excellency Mohammad Nabulsi, the Minister of Youth, said: “Providing safe and supportive spaces for youth and enhancing practices to ensure their protection is a priority for the Ministry of Youth, which is reflected through the national youth strategy and the ministry’s plan to activate youth centres.” Nabulsi expressed his appreciation for the partnership with Generations For Peace in implementing the programme, which targeted youth leaders at the ministry’s youth centres through protection and gender-based violence trainings, and for its support in implementing impactful youth projects. He also noted that these projects have positioned the ministry in a leading role in the field of security and peace through the Jordanian National Coalition for Resolution 2250.

Dr. Mohannad Arabiat, President of GFP, further stated, “We are incredibly proud of the achievements of the IPSP programme, which contributed to bridging the gap between Jordanian youth in host communities and Syrian refugees. The programme has created a safe space that integrates young people and opens the doors of dialogue for them to overcome their differences and focus on finding solutions to the challenges in their communities.” He added, “We are grateful to all the parties for their generous support, and we thank the young men and women who volunteered to bridge distances and build common spaces in the hopes of changing their lives and the lives of those around them.”

In turn, Mr. Petr Kostohryz, RDPP’s Liaison and Project Manager, said, “The project has demonstrated that multiple structures and individuals in Jordan can and indeed should work together to promote positive change in various communities across the kingdom. We have been thrilled to see the engagement and commitment by the ministry, GFP staff and youth volunteers and believe that the seeds sown by this project will continue evolving and contributing to better informed and more engaged and resilient local communities”.