Success story

From Syrian Refugee to Impact Driven Entrepreneur

Jin Dawood is the founder of Peace Therapist, an award winning social enterprise connecting people across Turkey and the MENA region with life-changing mental health support. Peace Therapist is the solution that Jin wished she had in the wake of her own displacement and the subsequent trauma she experienced. Read her inspiring story about using technology to build a platform to change lives.

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min read //

February 23, 2024

Alexandra Clare


From Syrian Refugee to Impact Driven Entrepreneur
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Jin grew up in Raqqa, Syria. When the war started, she had no idea how bad things would get. When planes dropped a bomb on a building 200 meters from her house in 2013, she and her family were forced to evacuate within 10 minutes. They jumped in the car in their pyjamas and crossed the Turkish border, only to receive news that their house had been destroyed.

While Jin and her family were physically safe, the impact of what happened left a mark and Jin started to experience severe mental health issues. As she slowly recovered, she started to look for ways way to re-connect with life and decided to continue her education. She went to university and studied computer engineering.

In 2018, she enrolled in Re:Coded’s inaugural bootcamp in Turkey, where she was able to write her first line of code. Through the program she was able to connect with mentors and got the confidence to design and build her own platform - Peace Therapist - which matches psychologists with those who need psychological support.

“Many people tried to dissuade me. They said it wouldn’t be possible because I was a woman and a refugee.“ You don’t even speak Turkish,” they said. “You can’t do it.” But I carried on with my plan and today Peace Therapist is an award-winning social enterprise.”
“In this part of the world psychological therapy can be considered shameful. We put a lot of thought into how we approach people, so they are less fearful of reaching out for help.”
“My goal is to work for peace and create solutions to conflicts. We know that nearly 1 in 4 refugees worldwide who have experienced war have psychological problems. If we help them improve their lives and gain self-confidence, we will increase social cohesion between refugees and host communities.”
“When I look back at my 16-year-old self, a young refugee traumatized by the war in Syria, I know a platform like Peace Therapist could have helped me and that’s what motivates me now. If we have the chance to change the life of even one person, then that is enough for me.”

Today Jin is also a One Young World European Commission Peace Ambassador and a member of the Board of Women Entrepreneurs at the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Türkiye.

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Authors biography

Alexandra Clare


Ali is the CEO of Re:Coded. With a background in humanitarian advocacy and law, she co-founded Re:Coded after roles at NYU, the UN, Human Rights Watch, and Department of Public Prosecutions. Alexandra's achievements include the Women in Tech Global Award, NYU’s Changemaker of the Year, and ANU’s Alumni of the Year. She holds an MSc. in Global Affairs from NYU and a law degree from the Australian National University.

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