//In Zurich, Syrians mobilise to boost mental health

In Zurich, Syrians mobilise to boost mental health

By Louise Juul Hansen, October 2, 2018

Swissinfo.ch has published an article about the STRENGTHS project’s work in Zurich:

The men and women gathered in a spartan room are a moving reminder of the vitality and diversity of Syrian society when the country was blooming rather than exploding.

The men sport casual to semi-formal clothes. Veiled women sit across women in jeans and tank tops. Political and religious views have been left at the door. The common denominator here is a shared drive to help refugees whose struggle to integrate into Switzerland is complicated by unaddressed psychological issues rooted in war trauma.

They are part of Switzerland’s first batch of peer-to-peer Syrian counsellors being trained under the STRENGTHS Project. Among them is Osama Shelleh, a 37-year-old former electrical engineer, who has high hopes and a contagious sense of purpose.

“Syrians have a lot of problems with integration in Switzerland,” he told swissinfo.ch in September. “By attending this programme, I feel that I can do something for the Syrian people, help the Syrian people with integration and solving the problems they have. Because I am one of them, I can feel what they feel.”

Read the full story in Swiss Info

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