I lived my childhood in KSA, I had no idea what the word “volunteer” meant until I became one."
I lived my childhood in KSA, I had no idea what the word “volunteer” meant until I became one."
I was shy and had few friends; today I am blessed with many friends within my community."
We are proud to declare that the Safe Room has assisted more than 60 girls since 2009 and was successful in returning ten dropouts to school again," "corporal punishment have dropped down significantly, and parents are showing more collaboration with our project."
I feel empowered as I became one of two decision makers in my house. I now help my husband around the house, I learned how to drive and bought my first car after three years of work. My husband and I bought a land and a house and we are saving for the education of our three children."
My parents, who opposed the idea at the beginning, recognize the new me and encouraged my twin brother to join."
The training I received on Basic life Skills, Leadership Skills and volunteering have enriched my teen years and developed my personality."
I felt like a prisoner, today I accept my daughter’s illness, I know how to deal with her, before I used to deal with her illness instead.”"
It was a daunting path towards an old and dark storage room, we never imagined that this same space could become a bright, safe and attractive room, it has actually become our favorite spot in the school."
I felt so good after that call” said the counselor who spoke to Suha and her mother, “it is live proof that doing what we do can have a real impact on someone’s life. Suha is not alone in her struggle anymore, we made that happen"
I come from an area of small farmers who can barely sell their produce to the local market and with the suppressed prices during the high season, the farmers are content if they just break-even… a cold storage and a food processing unit was a dream for us but we never thought that it can become reality."
I would have never imagined meeting Her Majesty one day, but when she visited Wadi Araba, I realized that we have achieved something to be proud of."
In University, am not Abu Sakher or the head of an association, am just a regular student and my daughter’s colleague."
JRF has transformed me into a Super Citizen"
Inside us is a new feeling that we haven’t experienced before, the feeling of true citizenship and responsibility towards ourselves and our community”"
Like many, I was occupied with the details of my own daily life. I walked in the neighborhood on a daily basis, it was impossible to avoid the scattered garbage or twisting my ankle when walking over a hidden hole; yet I did nothing, we did nothing to change. It was always easier to blame the authorities. All of this changed once we enrolled in the JRF’s program which taught us the spirit in working as a team."
I had no idea Suha was going through such a hard time. I could see there was something wrong, but I didn’t know what to do about it. Thank you for helping us"
The beacon that guides the residents towards one goal for the benefit of all."
The Safe Room is a haven for distressed girls whom we have longed to assist for the past years," "in this space, students can speak freely and confidentially about their deepest pains and fears, seek guidance, and receive support."
Through JRF's training programs, Madeline and I are able to identify cases of abuse in school, assist girls through creative and indirect methodologies such as writing and drawing and cooperate with the Family Protection Department in Aqaba when needed."
I continuously talk to my peers and encourage them to enroll in the centers various programs and activities. At school, I stood out in my class as I became more confident and empowered; now I want my younger brothers to join the center so they get the same opportunity I did."
My experience with JRF changed me, I realize now that the prize is bigger than money; it is great friends and the feeling of pride every time I pass by a school or a street that we helped to change."
I knew that this project can change my life... I met many people and have more self-confidence."
We were determined to find the space in our compounded school building, and with humble resources we agreed to renovate the old storage."
We are in a much better place; our voices are heard by authorities after a long time of silence, we know how to deal with challenges and transform them into opportunities."
I am so grateful for your help, I have talked to my mother about what I am experiencing and she has been very supportive since"
The desert of Wadi Araba became a green paradise producing only the best, and our community divided one day, is now working together under Qaa Al-Se’diyeen Association."
My work with JRF and in the complex enriched my experience and my university studies; it is truly the ultimate prize."
My dream is to start my own business one day soon."
“My father encourages me to continue my education after he witnessed my success; I am a changed woman. Today I am a real member in the family; participate in decision making equal to my brothers and full of belief that in order to make a change, you should change from within yourself first."
The smile we draw on the innocent faces of these young girls is the source of our strong-will and determination to continue and expand the work we have started", thank you JRF."
I never thought that this experience will change me into a complete different person."
I liked to practice what I learned at home, and I had no idea that my brothers and sisters were learning too."
Both skills and experience that I acquired from the center made me feel that I have a message to share with other women; my work as an educator is just a small token to show my gratitude."
I was empowered by Jordan River Foundation’s training and worked hard to change, leading my father to change too”"
My life has changed completely."
I would have had no future if it wasn’t for the program and the support of the Jordan River Foundation."
Working with JRF, I discovered there are no limits to ambition. Working with youth, inspired me even more to develop myself personally so I enrolled in University; something I never thought was possible."
I want to be popular like other girls in my class”, she complains “why is this happening to me?"
When Her Majesty’s visited us to share our experience, her words motivated us; I will never forget it when she said we rephrased the meaning of the word “Citizen” through our work."
Weaving the Threads of Success
The Bani Hamida Mountain is located in the central part of the Kingdom, in the Governorate of Madaba, at a distance of 35 km from Madaba City and 80 km from the capital Amman. The Bani Hamida area of the Madaba Governorate is an impoverished and remote part of the Kingdom which suffers from high levels of unemployment and out-migration. Additionally, the area, which is composed of sporadic settlements and population groups, is underdeveloped and lacks public services and private development initiatives.
Problems and Challenges Facing the Bani Hamida Area:
Economic Problems Facing the Area:
Threads of the Future
The Bani Hamida Women’s Weaving Project was launched by Save the Children in 1987, and merged with the Jordan River Foundation in 1998. Bringing prosperity to an otherwise impoverished region, the Project revived and marketed traditional Bedouin weaving practices, helping to maintain the social fabric of the Makawir area and contributing to the betterment of its families’ living standards.
Using home-made floor looms and wooden spindles, the Project rejuvenated the unique warp-faced flat weave in pure wool, along with the colors and particular designs representing Jordan’s unrivalled traditional rug making. When commercially introduced, the rugs were an instant hit and created a unique image for the Bani Hamida Mountain and its women. As the project progressed throughout the years, it has now become the largest and most renowned rug weaving project in Jordan and its neighboring countries.
Since inception, the Project has employed 24 full-time employees, and has benefited over 1650 wage-based women. Over JD1.5 million has been paid to spinners, weavers and dyers who produce these superior quality pure wool rugs that travel the world with a “Handmade With Pride by Bedouin Jordanian Women” label.
The overall impact of the Project on these women and their community has been monumental and clearly evident in their homes, their well-being and on the future of their children, who can now pursue secondary and university educations. Moreover, these women have become independent, and more confident as a result of this project, and are socially accepted in their community as working women.
Halima Al-Qa'aydeh, the Project’s 37-year old manager, is a success story, and has been acclaimed by national and international development agencies, appearing in countless TV documentaries and is the mention of many press articles. Cameras have followed her on daily trips in her white pickup truck as she travels between the Center and weavers’ homes, discussing the latest orders, designs and color schemes. While challenges remain, Halima has also become a leader in her community, and she was recently elected as one of the six women who were nationally elected to local councils in recent municipal elections.
JRF has been working with the women of Bani Hamida to seek other means and opportunities to increase the number of project beneficiaries. And as a result, in 2003, the Foundation was able to obtain a grant from Citigroup that provided seed money for a candle-making project that was put into effect at the Bani Hamida Mountain. The Project’s marketing strategy is based on research that proved that candles which are hand-made with ingredients indigenous to the area out-glow cheaper mass-produced ones.
Through its Rural Community Cluster Development Program, the Foundation was also able to successfully respond to some of the prevailing difficulties facing Bani Hamida local community members, by building a Service Complex that includes a market place, bus stop, storage space and offices for the local cooperative.