Aref’s story: please note real names and some details have been changed to protect the identity and safety of individuals involved

9 year old Aref grew up in Daraa, Syria, where thousands of barrel bombs caused devastation to civilians and homes. In 2014/15,120 people were killed in Daraa alone. At aged 7, Aref saw a bomb drop by his house killing Mahmoud, his cousin and best friend. Until then Aref thought it was safe to play in the street by his home. His family hid underground for 3 days before fleeing to Al-Zataari camp in Jordan. There, Aref met Khaled, a counsellor trained by Luna to use a psychological technique for helping children overcome trauma (CATT). Aref had signs of PTSD; he was unable to talk about what he’d seen. He had regular flashbacks about Mahmoud’s death and was deeply anxious of losing anyone he loved. For 2 years he had nightmares. Any sounds he heard, he thought were planes. His concentration was poor and his thoughts were jumbled. He had great difficulty learning and avoided large groups of people. Khaled worked with Aref using CATT. After only 5 sessions, Aref could talk about what happened. He no longer had nightmares. He was able to play with friends and take part in social gatherings. He was able to tolerate sounds. He was able to work towards his goal of doing better at school.