Practical Bravery: JIN DAWOD



Our guest was 14 when she had to make her way past the mutilated bodies of her neighbours, shielding from bombs and chemical weapons attacks, leaving her home in Syria with her family. In Turkey, where she had to resettle, she broke down – and the very real trauma took its toll on her mental health in a profound way.
Yet, in 2023 she is heralded around the world as a rather extraordinary entrepreneur. She taught herself to code and became one of the country’s most ambitious young computer scientists. She has established one of Turkey’s top free providers of online mental health and trauma support to displaced people and to survivors of natural disaster. And her impact will definitely not stop there.
On this edition of the Possibility Club, it is a privilege to be talking about surviving trauma and using that to create your own measurable impact with  the remarkable Jîn Dawod – Founder of Peace Therapist.

Key quotes:

“I’m a computer engineer, I’m the founder of Peace Therapist, I’m also glad to be One Young World European Commission Peace Ambassador. At the same time I’m the co-founder at Urfa Agra Women’s Co-operative. So there are a lot of things to do in life. But I also believe that we need to focus our energy mainly on one big thing, which is Peace Therapist for me.”

“I am Syrian, I was fourteen or fifteen years old when the war started in Syria. I was in Raqqa City, the city where the war started. My family suffered a lot, we were obligated to stay in the war situation for two years. It was very traumatic, even from the window of my room I saw cut-off heads and parts of human bodies on the road, because the main hospital of Raqqa was in front of our home, so that doubled the trauma I experienced.”

“At first we didn’t know the war would last. Everything was unknown.”

“The moment we crossed into Turkey, I thought now the war has ended for me, I thought everything would start to be better, but I didn’t know the war had just started inside of me. I had psychological problems, I couldn’t leave our home for one year. My siblings experienced the same thing. I was in desperate need of psychological support but I didn’t know Turkish.”

“I could see my family sacrifice a lot for us. My father lost everything he built in life, everything he wanted to make as an investment for us in the future, was destroyed immediately.”

“Around of me I saw a lot of refugees were still suffering from psychological problems and not all are lucky as I was, to have a supportive family, or to have a family, a lot of them lost their families.”

“I know what it is, I was there, I really wanted to do something. That was the point I started to work on Peace Therapist.”

“I know what it was like, I was there, I really wanted to do something. I started to work on Peace Therapist. In Computer Engineering, I enveloped myself in mobile application development and I started to write the code for the Peace Therapist platform by myself at that time. I found my passion. I started to go after what I can do in this field. I knew what I wanted to do in this life, at that moment.”

“It’s been more than two months since the big disaster and I believe people are going back to their routines. I am trying to help, especially people who lost family and friends. Me and my sister also lost friends. But we have to focus on the good things, otherwise life would not be continuing for us.”  

“We move around a lot. We also stayed in the car, because the flooding is always happening at night, so people are shocked, don’t know what to do, afraid, and a lot of people are having problems sleeping, eating, going inside any building.”

“Not only refugees need psychological support, it’s everyone. Every human. It’s a right, it should not be a privilege. It’s important for every one of us. Life is not easy, we face a lot of problems at every stage of our life.”

“Technology is so important, it’s making everything easier, but we need to pay attention to how we use technology, because as it makes it easier for us to do good things, it makes it easier for us to do bad things.”

“I wanted to make them proud, I am a positive person, I wanted to develop myself and concentrate on helping others.”

“The weather is becoming better. I think this is a sign of hope, and for us to work and to concentrate on the positive things in life.”

This episode was recorded in April 2023

Interviewer: Richard Freeman for always possible

Editor: CJ Thorpe-Tracey for Lo Fi Arts


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