About Us

Jafra Foundation for Relief and Youth Development is a non-partisan, secular, International nonprofit Organization registered in Belgium, Greece, and Sweden, headquartered in Lebanon.
Jafra was founded in late 2002 in Yarmuk Camp by the grassroots community efforts of Palestinian refugees. Being youths themselves, the founders realized the need to develop the capacities of Palestinian youths, paving their way for a better future.
Building on nine years of experience in youth capacity development, Jafra expanded both its programs and geographical coverage in 2011 with the effort of responding to the emerging, urgent needs of the most vulnerable population affected by the Syrian Crisis. In Syria, Jafra is currently operational in 5 Palestinian Camps, 3 Gatherings and other locations in Damascus, Rural Damascus and Homs Governorate, across 8 sectors: Emergency Response, Education, Child Protection, Food Security & Livelihoods, Capacity Building, WASH, Health, Conflict Management.
Early 2015, Jafra realized the urgency to respond to the needs of refugees who have reached different parts of Europe, including many of Jafra’s staff and volunteers.
In Sweden, beginning of 2015, and in cooperation with “Bab Al Shams”, NGO & Cultural Center, Jafra launched its first refugee response in Europe. The program covers two sectors:
– Child Protection: provision of psychosocial support and recreational activities (in cooperation with the Swedish Municipality) to the vulnerable children of refugees
– Cultural Sustainability: activities related to the persistence of the Palestinian Identity through photography and art exhibitions, musical and poetic symposiums, and lectures and workshops focusing on the Palestinian history and identity. Most recently, Jafra cooperated with the “Literature House” that provided participants with a Photography and Journalism training, as well as the “Folk University” that provided participants with a Photography training.
As of June 2017, Jafra Foundation for Relief and Youth development is officially legalized and registered in Sweden. With more than 35 volunteers, Jafra Sweden is currently planning the expansion of its current activities, to offer language exchange classes (Arabic-Sweden), as well as the enhancement of coordination with other European based programs.
In Greece, in early 2016, Jafra volunteers found themselves blocked in Idomeni camp on the Macedonian/Greek border. Having experience in working with youths, through capacity development, and children, through education and psychosocial support, the six volunteers initiated a “Refugee to Refugee” support network. This precedent initiative in Greece is built upon the following objectives:
• Lessening the impact of conflict and displacement through providing psychosocial support and recreational activities
• Enhancing the integration of refugee community with the host communities through implementing activities that bring the two communities together
• Engaging youths and women in livelihood projects with the aim of decreasing their dependency on relief aid
• Supporting the most vulnerable groups of refugees (e.g. single women and children) through the provision of shelter and other basic needs
Early 2017, “Refugee to Refugee” initiative moved to Athens, having 20 volunteers, and is currently operational in five sectors:
– Emergency Response: Monthly distribution of Food and Hygiene kits to the most vulnerable households, totaling 4000 to date.
– Shelter: a fully equipped center offers shelter to 20 vulnerable women with the provision of group therapy, skill-sharing, one-on-one support, English classes and health education
– Child Protection: Provision of Psychosocial Support and recreational activities including arts, sports, and culture. Individual support is also being provided for 40 households having children with special needs.
– Capacity Building:
• Strategic Planning, Projects Management, and other training are provided to both Jafra’s volunteers and other refugees
• Language Support: within the “Young Leader Project”, Jafra is offering both Arabic and English classes to children aged between 7 and 12 years old. English classes also target adults, with currently 50 participants divided into Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced levels.
– Livelihoods: Around 15 women are receiving Sewing Training with the aim of improving their livelihoods and aiding their economic inclusion in their refuge. Hairdressing, First Aid, and Yoga & Aerobics training are planned to take place.
Jafra’s center also welcomes drop-in refugees to register their names and their needs. Jafra has distributed approximately 1500 baby diapers, 40 strollers and 50 boxes of baby formulas so far.
With further planned expansion in the scope of activities, Jafra Greece has opened a second center in Athens through which all activities are being conducted, leaving the first as a shelter to be able to aid more vulnerable women.
Jafra Foundation for Relief and Youth Development is currently under the process of expanding its refugee response program to Germany where thousands of Syrians and Palestinians sought refuge and are scourged by the Syrian conflict.