Jordan River Foundation (JRF) is a non-profit, non-governmental organization established in 1995 with a focus on child safety and community empowerment. It has been a major player in Jordan’s social and economic development, bringing forth over 20 years of experience to local community empowerment and child safety. JRF has also been supporting homegrown solutions that engage Jordanians and help them address local challenges. Most importantly, JRF places the wellbeing of children at the center of its development initiatives.
Launched in 1997, the Jordan River Community Empowerment Program (JRCEP) offers economic opportunities for local communities and refugees to help improve their livelihoods and that of their families. JRCEP develops and implements projects and training programs that enable communities to articulate their needs and facilitate their contribution to their own economic and social prosperity.
It also aims to mobilize members of vulnerable communities with the potential to become entrepreneurs or employees of choice. The overall objective is to increase household income through: micro and small enterprises, entrepreneurship, job placement, workforce readiness and access to financial resources.
Following years of working in the field, Duaa (24), a Hydroponics graduate, was adamant to find a way to help advocate for fair pay and equal access to job opportunities for women in agriculture. Duaa started a training center to empower women working in the industry, particularly in Hydroponics. The center offers training in workforce readiness, technical know-how and employability skills. Her project was supported by a grant under the ORDUN MOBTAKIR challenge.
Suad Batikha’s handmade toys had great potential, but she didn’t know how to market them properly. Following a series of training sessions on online marketing and financial literacy, she was able to promote her products across different social media channels including Facebook, WhatsApp for Business, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Her profit margins increased from 60 to 85%, and she currently caters to a regional client base.
Iman’s nutrition center in Balqa is the only project of its kind in the Jordan Valley area, and with an increasing number of clients, including diabetic patients, her overwhelming workload became a threat to business. Qualifying for a Citibank grant saved her business. She was able to expand her client base and offer services in neighboring areas, including free health tests and fitness awareness sessions.
Asma offers alternatives to chicken cubes using healthy and natural ingredients, made with dried vegetables and spices and zero artificial flavors and preservatives. Her products cater to all needs, especially to people with food allergies. The business, however, took a risky turn. Marketing, pricing them, promoting them online, on top of offering professional customer service proved challenging to Asma. Through a series of training sessions offered by the project, Asma was able to leverage her business, most importantly, she was able to change the way society perceives female entrepreneurs.
Safaa’s entrepreneurial journey began with a small business selling ornamental plants. The experience helped her grow as a businesswoman, but her lack of financial resources and an expansion plan hindered her progress. The grant she qualified for changed everything. Today, Safaa is a proud owner of a green house that cultivates organic lettuce and tomatoes, utilizing modern irrigation methods that regulate water consumption and reduce her operational costs.
"I not only sold the products out of my house, but I went to neighboring areas to sell and promote my products, which inspired the women in my area to establish their own entrepreneurial initiatives. I dream of finishing my studies using the profit I make off this project."
"My determination helped me break free of the stereotype that I am only meant to take care of the house, my kitchen and my children. Today I contribute to my household's income, and my husband is the biggest supporter of my work."
"Through establishing a multipurpose hallwe finally found a stable source of income that can cover the costs of the free education offered to children with disabilities.the program enabled us to secure the future of children with disabilities, and alleviate some of the pressures families have to endure."
"The idea was to use damaged materials, such as batteries and mobile phone control boards, to reuse them, as they are environmentally harmful. The moment we opened this store we felt we had a responsibility towards developing ourselves, and we strive to achieve the best."
"I enjoy pickling so much that I barely have time to myself today, and I help my father with our expenses. I was even able to get the house a new refrigerator, and hope to buy a microwave oven and a washing machine. I see myself as an important businesswoman in the future."
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