Succeeded in raising $140,000 to launch the program.
- Identified the Jordan River Foundation (JRF), a Jordanian non-profit chaired by Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah as the partner to develop and implement this initiative with Vital Voices Global Partnership.
- The first phase of the program will target younger women in the rural areas specifically in the Aqaba region.
In 2006, Vital Voices partnered with the Jordan River Foundation (JRF), awarding it $110,000 in privately donated funds to support the Leadership and Business Development for the Women of Jordan project. The project was designed to develop leadership in 15 young women, ages 18-24, from three communities in Aqaba. The women received training in leadership skills such as communication and community participation, as well as in practical skills such as business development and introduction to information technology. Having chosen in JRF a reputable partner with an impressive track record, Vital Voices worked cooperatively with them on a project design and budget.
Women in the three cities- Rahmah, Aqaba Old City and Al Homiamah created workplans and budgets for proposed community development projects. Jordan River Foundation reviewed these plans and awarded contracts to three projects. In Rahmah, the project will be establishing an internet center, in the Aqaba Old City group create an educational center for women & children, and in Al Homaimah group will establish a computer training center.
- Designed the 'Fostering Future Leaders' project jointly with the Jordan River Foundation to help young women in the rapidly developing region of Aqaba to become more aware of the important difference their participation and leadership can make to better their local community.
- Held the first leadership training in March 2007 and an IT training workshop in May 2007.
- Working on other training proposals and plans to start implementation in June 2007.
The first training session was held by the Jordan River FOundation in Aqaba and covered topics such as: self-esteem, self-acceptance, community participation, needs assessment skills and methodologies, team-building skills, as well as communication, presentation and leadership training. The training activities were conducted by two qualified trainers - Ms. Manal Al Foqaha, Training Coordinator, JRF's Capacity Building and Business Development Services Unit, and Ms. Majdouleen Halaby, Youth, Child Rights and Better Parenting Training Specialist from JRF's Queen Rania Family and Child Center (QRFCC). The women began to develop projects for local community development
Seventeen young women - ranging in age from 18-24 were selected to participate in the program by the Jordan River Foundation in Aqaba. These women have either been actively involved in a local community group, or aspire to become more involved. Part of the application process included interviews and oral presentations in order to assess communication skills.
December, 2006 - December, 2006
Jordan River Foundation conducted site visits and awareness meetings in the Aqaba Governate in Jordan to gain the support of community elders and male leaders, a critical step to allow for sustainability of the program.
Vital Voices sets up an agreement with the Jordan River Foundation to partner with us to implement a program to foster yong women's leadership in commuity development in Aqaba, Jordan.
Plans to develop the Jordan Vital Voices/CGI program are underway. The project will be conducted in conjunction with the Jordan River Foundation (JRF), a non-profit Jordanian NGO chaired by Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah and will take place later in 2006. On May 9, Queen Rania will be meeting with the donors to the program in Washington DC. In mid-June, Vital Voices staff will be working on the first phase of the implementation and candidate selection with their counterparts from the JRF.
$170,000 to fully fund this project has already been pledged.
- The young women are on their way to becoming leaders. While the numbers vary, all three teams successfully conducted needs assessments of their community, designed feasible projects, and, moreover, it should be noted that they declined projects that were too ambitious; and formed support groups of like-minded women and youth who at least received informal on-the-job training from the teams. These groups are active and real, both in terms of encouragement, and in volunteered labor.
- Civil society, volunteerism, and activism are foreign concepts in this area, and it is more than a matter of language. In all the communities, the young women would equate 'volunteer work' with any kind of civic participation, no matter how passive. Now they freely volunteer their time and labor, and have often convinced their brothers and other young people to help out, in everything from renovating space to recruiting and instructing for the projects.