Bahrain opens centre for Syrian refugees
Manama, August 25, 2013
Bahrain has opened a psychological counselling centre to help Syrian refugees, a report said.
Plans for the centre were announced in February as part of a $2 million pledge to build schools in the Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan, according to the report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
Royal Charity Organisation (RCO) secretary-general Dr Mustafa Al Sayed was at the camp over the weekend to open the centre, which is called the Bahrain Social Centre for Creativity.
The opening was held under the patronage of RCO chairman Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa.
Dr Al Sayed told the GDN yesterday it was vital to help refugees come to terms with the trauma of conflict and the hardships of life in the camps.
"When we visited these places, we felt like a psychiatric centre was essential," he said.
Dr Al Sayed said the centre will predominantly care for children and will be fully equipped.
"It will be a resource for the 4,000 students who attend the four schools Bahrain built at the Zaatari Camp (known as the Bahrain Schools Centre).
"If the children's families are also in need of counselling, they will be helped. Counsellors will try to help the children overcome the loss of their parents and of their country," he said.
"Two experts from the Royal Charity Organisation will be assigned there part-time. The Education Minister has also assigned a doctor to the centre."
During the opening, Dr Al Sayed also approved an additional BD2,000 ($5,251) to allow the children to paint their own decorations around the centre, which is made up of five portacabins located near the schools.
Bahrain earlier pledged to donate $20 million to support Syrian refugees at an International Donors' Conference in Kuwait.
The RCO also signed a co-operation agreement last Tuesday with the UN Development Programme to fund the construction and operation of Bahrain Public Library Project in Jerusalem. – TradeArabia News Service