Build it Up – 10 Years of Youth Organizing, Child Development and Community Support
Celebrating a decade of building a unique community development model that embodies private sector activism and promotes good citizenship, diversity, individual initiative and positive thinking, Ruwwad Al Tanmeya – a non-profit community development organization that works with disenfranchised communities through education, youth volunteerism and grassroots organizing – co-hosted the 5th Ruwwad Day with a group of Jabal Al Natheef locals at the Heina residence’s garden on Saturday 13 June, 2015.
The event, which was held under the slogan ‘Build It Up’, brought together hundreds of local community members, entrepreneurs, and social and cultural activists to promote social and cultural engagement among the area’s residents, as well as to shed light on the numerous ways that the private sector, civil society, government and community can empower disenfranchised societies.
Ruwwad organized interactive functions that featured community members and guests assembling a large jigsaw puzzle signifying the Organization’s 10-year journey and its subsequent impact on children, youth, women and families alike. Next, Ruwwad’s citizens joined the guests in touring two stations entitled ‘Build It Up’ and ‘Generations’ at the Ruwwad Community Center and the Atikah Bint Zayd Primary School. The School holds significant importance given that it was the first to be renovated by the Organization back in 2006 and in which Ruwwad continues to implement its Child Development Program on a weekly basis. At the stations, participants engaged in various activities and discussions, showcasing the stories of children, youth, women, parents and graduates, all of whom are active citizens in Ruwwad Jabal Al Natheef initiatives and programs.
Back at the Heina residence’s garden, the Mousab Khorma Youth Education and Empowerment Fund’s (MKYEF) youth scholars gave a performance titled ‘Voice of Youth’, highlighting their dreams, challenges and obstacles. MKYEF – one of Ruwwad’s cornerstone programs – annually grants 450 university and college scholarships to students from Jabal Al Natheef, Al Tafileh and Al Beidha in Jordan, as well as from Lebanon, Egypt and Palestine. In exchange for the scholarships, students are required to volunteer four hours per week to community service, which is equivalent to a total of 84,600 volunteer hours every year, thus fostering the upcoming generation’s commitment to civic engagement in order to create solutions from the ground-up. Since its inception, 946 students have benefited from MKYEF’s scholarships in Jordan alone, with 588 already graduated.
Ruwwad’s partners, team and guests also planted 150 evergreen trees at the Heina residence’s garden, ending the activities with a shared familial breakfast that added to the event’s jovial atmosphere. After 10 years of putting entrepreneurship in the service of community development, the Organization has grown the operations of its Community Center in Jabal Al Natheef to work with a number of beneficiaries who are all partners in Ruwwad’s work, specifically with 150 youth, as well as a repeat group of 1,400 children, 500 adolescents, 100 women and 250 families.