‘And how do we lead our families with love, speak in a kind way, and not with violence?’ asks Jamal from Syria. He is one of the coaches at Tearfund’s partner programme in Jordan and he is looking calmly at the ten men sitting around him.
An intense discussion soon arises on this rainy Wednesday afternoon. They talk open-heartedly, and although Jamal has to lower the level of the debate a few times, the atmosphere is warm and the men are respectful, listening to each other with smiles on their faces.
Later, Jamal* gives one of the participants a short story to read and then guides the men to reflect on its message – that love is stronger than physical strength and anger. Shortly after, the session is concluded with a statement from one of the participating Syrian refugees: ‘Every problem in the world can be solved without using violence.’
It’s now time for the physical exercises. Despite the rain, all the men participate in the fitness programme. Jamal’s brother, Hussein*, takes over the leadership of the class. He shows the correct positions, counting aloud and encouraging the participants to invest all their energy. In that way, he coaches them through various exercises and games. After a while it’s impossible to distinguish drops of rain from drops of sweat on their faces.