The Jordan River Designs Project is an embroidery project which has been in existence since 1988, and now operates under the umbrella of Al-Karma Center. The Project employs 16 women and shares contracts with 500 other women to embroider traditional and contemporary home furnishings, gift items and fashion accessories.
Set up to assist women in the area with extra income, this project also works to maintain and promote traditional heritage using a traditional cultural technique. As the project grew, other women from surrounding areas joined the project, introducing different embroidery techniques from the various areas of Jordan.
Since inception, over 1500 women have benefited from the Project and over JD3 million has been paid to its beneficiaries.
The beautiful and intricate hand-made items created by these women are now being sold in international markets and enjoy a good reputation worldwide. These items include quilts and bed covers, cushions, wall-hangings, table runners and mats, lampshades, and small gift items.
In 2005, the Jordan River Designs Project partnered with Cosmo Queen, a project established by two renowned Dutch designers to provide over 100 women with the prospect of continuous work, and a new experience in creating luxurious products. The Project produces Limited Edition luxurious shawls which are made top segments of western markets.
In’am Abdul Fattah (Um Akram) is a 45-year old mother of eight children, who has been working with the Project for the past 15 years. She began by working from home, and is now a full-time employee at the workshop. “My husband’s meager income was barely enough and we couldn’t make ends meet. But through my work with the Project, we are able to secure a decent living for our children.” she said.
In 2002, JRF obtained funding from the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation (MoPIC) to implement an integrated community development pilot project in Al-Natheef area under MoPIC’s Social Productivity Program. The project targeted poor and less advantaged groups, with the aim of achieving overall social and economic development for the Jordanian society at large.
Goals of Jabal Natheef Pilot Project:
- To work with lending institutions on assisting community members obtain loans to finance their small business or projects.
- To work with the Training and Employment Support Project and employment offices on creating job opportunities for the unemployed.
- To assist eligible members of the community in obtaining cash assistance from the National Aid Fund.
- To design and implement social infrastructure projects where and when necessary.
- To promote partnerships between the community and public and private agencies which are conducive to overall development.