A moment of peace: The power of hope

30 November 2021

Topics: Approach Graduation refugees

Hope is an inherent part of being human. 

It shapes our self-narrative, helps us to feel better about the future, and for the communities we work with, it can make a tough situation feel more bearable. 

But what really makes hope so powerful? 

I’ve been thinking a lot about this after speaking with Sharon, one of our International Programs Managers, about a new pilot program set to launch with our partner in Jordan, the Department of Service for Palestinian Refugees (DSPR). 

Beginning early next year, the 2-year pilot is an evolution of the ‘Graduation Approach’, an evidence-based model pioneered in local communities Bangladesh, and since expanded to refugee communities worldwide. The approach centres on helping people out of poverty by removing barriers to services like education and healthcare, and providing livelihood support.  

As Sharon describes, 

“If there’s a million things that someone has to worry about, like getting their children an education, or accessing healthcare, all of those factors take up time, and it becomes almost impossible to sustain a job, no matter how much they want to or how much training they've undertaken."

 

Video:
(left) Sharon has worked closely with our partner in Jordan to get the pilot off the ground. (right) Since the Syrian crisis began, millions of families have been forced to flee their homes into neighbouring countries like Jordan. Karen McGrath / Act for Peace
Working with our long-term partner DSPR, the pilot will involve 50 families living in refugee camps in Jordan, carefully selected based on their needs and vulnerabilities in the community.  

“We’ve been working with DSPR for such a long time, and we both know that it’s not an emergency there anymore. It is a protracted crisis and they need sustainable solutions”, says Sharon.  

The program is significant because the Graduation Approach is new to refugee communities in Jordan, and has only been introduced very recently. The Graduation Approach hasn't been trialled in the communities where DSPR and Act for Peace work, which are the most marginalised and disenfranchised refugee populations in the country 

“There’s an exciting opportunity here to take a model that was set up for non-displaced communities and trial it in displaced communities in Jordan and see how it fares there. Then hopefully we can build up a technical expertise that can be shared and applied with our other partners in other parts of the world.” 

So, what does hope have to do with it? 

As Sharon says, “Hope is a very powerful thing.” 

It’s what continues to motivate us and our partners to think outside the box, innovate and pilot new solutions. It’s what enables the communities we work with to imagine better futures for themselves, and take the steps to get there.  

I want to thank you for continuing to have hope in our staff, our partners and the communities we’re helping; because hope changes lives. 

Words by Emma - Act for Peace team