Smiling again in Aleppo
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20-12-2019 | di COOPI

Smiling again in Aleppo

"Thanks to COOPI and the speech therapist, I don’t feel ashamed anymore and I can talk to all my friends."

B. is a 14-years-old girl living in Aleppo with her family. Years of war and difficult living conditions have traumatised the young girl, thus causing a severe stuttering - For fear of being laughed at, B. stopped talking and taking part in school activities.

To help their daughter, her parents turned to COOPI centre in Nairab, Aleppo. Here B. started a therapy with the speech therapist - first to recover verbal fluency, by answering simple questions; then, having regained some confidence, she actively participated in awareness sessions and activities for adolescents at the centre. By integrating with her peers, B. recovered stuttering, due to which she had felt ashamed and isolated.

As Matteo  Crosetti, COOPI Regional Coordinator in the Middle East, "Our work in Aleppo aims to restore personal and social balance for people who suffered from years of conflict. And, day by day, we see people smiling again and communities who are slowly and boldly resuming their lives".

From January to December 2019, COOPI is assisting 4,000 displaced people, returnees and community members in Aleppo, Northwest Syria, thanks to the UNHCR funded project "Protection of vulnerable groups in East Aleppo" to reduce their vulnerability, improve their protection and strengthen their resilience to the effects of the current crisis.

To date, COOPI has:

  • provided care services for children and women survivors of sexual and gender-based violence;
  • offered psychological support, rehabilitation, home care for children with autism;
  • organised recreational activities and awareness campaigns for children and adolescents;
  • strengthened the role of communities in identifying and responding to their needs.

To reach beneficiaries living in areas far from Aleppo centres, COOPI has also trained two mobile teams and 30 volunteers to support people in need of counselling and therapy, who, when necessary, were referred to the services available in the District of Aleppo.