During the last two weeks of September I was in Jordan.

Primarily I was there to attend the International Conference on Assistance to Victims of Landmines and Other Explosive Remnants.

The second reason was to meet and accompany the delegate from the International Development Select Committee I had invited to Jordan to gather evidence on best practice in victim assistance and the impact of the conflict in neighbouring countries on Jordan itself;

And finally, and most importantly, I was there to visit the Sir Bobby Charlton Centre for Support and Rehabilitation in Amman.

The Centre though was surprising – on the second floor of a city centre office block, above a bank, it was not quite what I expected. The centre’s director Akram Ramani explained. “We don’t just work with people from the camps, we work with Syrian refuges from across the city – it is more efficient to bring our patients and children to us here, also it gets them out of their daily environment. They look forward to their visits here”

The team at the centre included physiotherapists, psychologists and outreach workers, a Professor of Psychiatry and an Office Manager.

On every wall around me in the centre were paintings. Colourful, poignant paintings, naive crayon drawings, delicate sophisticated water colours – and all with heart-wrenching stories behind them. These paintings are what I had been so anxious to see they were made by children who had witnessed and suffered appalling violence in their home country of Syria.

The art therapy scheme was developed by Prof Nieveen Abu-Zaid and I was anxious to see the paintings because in October last year we had an exhibition of similar paintings in parliament – and they had stopped the politicians in their tracks. If no other means of getting the message of futility of conflict across could melt the hearts of hardened MPs, then these paintings could.

Pictures of bombs falling on schools, pictures of children with missing limbs, pictures of graves in neat new rows, it was a gallery of horror that you couldn’t take your eyes off.

I met the children – beautiful smiling children – but behind the smiles of some were obvious signs of insecurity, of incomprehension and of indecision. These were children whose lives and bodies had been ripped apart by the ugliness of war – yet they greeted us with trust and incredible politeness.

Llittle Roma, a child of five or six, engaged me in a conversation that I sadly couldn’t understand but which clearly referred to the furry creature she was drawing – a favourite toy that she had had to leave behind in Allepo.

This was a deliberate theme of the session – each child was drawing something they had cherished and lost. Prof Nieveen explained “It gives them a sense of life when it was normal – and the idea that life could be normal again.”

Roma chattered on and I marveled at the resilience of children, however I was also overwhelmed by the enormous task that Akram, Prof Nieveen and the Sir Bobby Centre team had taken on.

This is the sort of project that REVIVE was set up to champion, and I was delighted that Henry Smith MP – the delegate from the International development Committee – was able to reference his visit to the centre in his question to Minister of State for Development Andrew Murrison at the recent IDC evidence session in the House of Commons.

A huge thank you too to the Sir Bobby Charlton Foundation for allowing me the privilege of seeing their work where it matters the most.