On 21 February 2018, 50 young people celebrated their graduation from the Rawad Project’s vocational training programme in East Amman.
The Rawad Project, meaning ‘pioneers’ in Arabic, has been run by Plan International Jordan and the Jordanian Hashemite Fund for Human Development (JOHUD) with Irish Aid funding.
The Deputy CEO of JOHUD, Qais Al Tarawneh said, “Plan International was more than just a funder, we were really part of the same team.”
Students, teachers and families gathered to mark an important step in the lives of the young people who gained qualifications in secretarial and data entry training, car maintenance for hybrid and automatic cars, operation of heavy machinery, and maintenance of heavy machinery.
The host of the ceremony congratulated the graduates by saying, “You are the builders of the future.”
Supporting tomorrow’s pioneers
Scholarships were awarded to the top 10 graduates so they can continue their studies. One of the girls that received a scholarship said, “This is the first and most important step for me to reach success.”
Each graduate was called to the stage to receive his or her diploma as well as a laptop or toolkit.
Muna Abbas, Head of Mission for Plan International Jordan, said, “We are proud of this accomplishment and grateful to JOHUD, and we look forward to the next stage of training beginning later in 2018.”
In addition to vocational training, the Rawad Project offers early childhood education and parenting awareness sessions. This year 100 children between the ages of 3 and 5 are attending informal early childhood education and development programmes. All of the children and students come from the local community and did not attend school prior to joining the Rawad Project.
The programme has also raised awareness among 600 members of the local community about the dangers of dropping out of school, early marriage and child labour.
Gaining skills and experience
Two of the top graduates, Marwa and Nasab, are now volunteers at Plan International Jordan’s main office in Amman, an opportunity made possible by their vocational training.
“I look forward to coming to Plan International Jordan every day,” both Marwa and Nasab said.
Both young women have been gaining skills and experience through their work. “My favorite thing about this job is that I am gaining experience and independence – I am working to support myself,” Marwa said.
“It has increased my self-confidence, and I’ve made new friends,” Nasab added.
Nasab graduated from the Rawad Project at the top of her class, earning her a scholarship to complete a 1-year programme at the University of Philadelphia in health records and hospital management.
“I completed the first part of high school with a mark of 87%. I always loved my studies, but I could not finish tawjihi (the final year and examination) because I was married at 16 years old.”
Nasab had 2 daughters with her husband and was pregnant with her son when they moved to the United States. Not long after they moved, her husband left her to marry another woman, and she found herself alone looking after 2 daughters and preparing to give birth to her son.
Building a better future
“When I was 20 years old, I came back to Amman and began my life with just my children.” Nasab could not obtain a stable job and income because she did not have enough skills. Then she learned about the opportunity to enrol in the Rawad Project.
Between volunteering at Plan International Jordan and her studies at the University of Philadelphia, Nasab is more confident that she can better provide for her 3 children. And she is now engaged, this time by choice.
“Volunteering at Plan International Jordan has already changed my outlook on life and made me a more secure person,” she said. “It is giving me the ability to make a better future for myself.”