At JOHUD, we believe that nobody should have to experience the fear of not knowing where their next meal will come from. Unfortunately, this is a reality facing far too many Jordanians, many of whom do not have access to the resources they need to unburden themselves of the yoke of poverty.
Since its establishment, JOHUD has provided immediate aid to those most in need. While the greatest emphasis is placed on strategies that promote long-term sustainable development, we recognise that the need for immediate, in-kind assistance will always be present for those who have become vulnerable due to factors outside their control – such as illness, loss of a breadwinner, or unemployment.
JOHUD launched the Goodwill Campaign (GWC) in 1999 to break the cycle of poverty that has held prosperity just beyond the grasp of Jordan’s most vulnerable citizens. Through the GWC, JOHUD reaches out to people who are in desperate need and provides them with direct and immediate assistance and support. As community needs are identified, we equip our network of Community Development Centres (CDCs) with food packages, essential housing supplies, blankets, and clothing to ensure that emergency assistance reaches those who need it, when they need it, and where they need it, even in the most inaccessible areas.
No one should be forced to decide whether they can meet the expense of treating a loved one’s illness. As such, the provision of medical services is a central component of the GWC.
Hundreds of doctors and medical professionals volunteer their services to the GWC, providing free testing and prescriptions to thousands of people every year. These free medical evaluations have even led to the provision of more than one thousand pro-bono surgical procedures to those facing a range of serious medical conditions.
Private hospitals, the pharmaceutical industry, and medical supply companies also contribute to this effort by providing much-needed medical equipment and supplies. These donations have included wheelchairs, prostheses, hearing aids, and other tools that enable those enduring physical impediments to maintain their dignity and lead independent lives.
Long-term, Sustainable Support
Along with its immediate emergency support, the GWC implements sustainable development solutions for marginalised communities. These solutions include the provision of small project grants to poor families, which provide the money for the seeds, equipment, and materials needed to begin a business and earn a permanent income.
The GWC also champions the belief that poverty should not be an obstacle to education; in fact, education plays a fundamental role in increasing access to social mobility and economic opportunities that would have otherwise been unattainable for many in the community.
As such, the GWC offers scholarships to young people looking to further their education at the university level, and whose families do not have the financial means to support their academic pursuits. This opportunity enables youth who excel in their studies to develop the knowledge and the professionally-competitive skills that they will need to find lucrative employment in the future.
The Spirit of Helping Others
A key objective of the GWC is to promote a spirit of helping others. Thousands of people who value our humanitarian mission donate their money, time, and expertise in order to strengthen our campaign. Without the tireless commitment of our partners, whose generosity and dedication to the cause is unmatched, our mission would not have achieved the success it enjoys today.
Through our annual meetings with longstanding and prospective partners in the banking, medical, education, trade, government, and industrial sectors, we continue to improve the quality and number of services we can offer to those that need them most.
Empowering Poverty Pocket Areas in Jordan
In addition to the GWC, JOHUD is implementing a poverty alleviation initiative in cooperation with the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation. The initiative targets seven areas which have been identified as “Poverty Pockets”. These regions were selected by the Department of Statistics based on conclusions drawn from a 2008 income and expenditures survey conducted with families in the targeted areas.
The initiative aims to improve economic conditions and raise the standard of living for people living in “Poverty Pockets”, through enhancing participation and productivity, raising awareness, and providing loans for starting small businesses. The initiative features vocational training programmes designed to provide job opportunities, increase income, and improve the economic and social conditions that vulnerable residents face whilst living in these communities.
One of the best long term solutions to poverty is to ensure that every citizen has secure access to a stable and sufficient income through employment. This axiom serves as the foundation for numerous JOHUD initiatives that strive to create thriving local economies, even in the most remote communities.
In order to keep up with the demands of rapidly evolving international and domestic markets, the Jordanian workforce needs to have access to the most up-to-date training in competitive fields and remain at the forefront of technological innovation. As such, JOHUD has launched a series of initiatives to ensure that its Community Development Centres (CDCs) are equipped to provide modern and comprehensive professional development training.
These programmes offer young people and women good opportunities to acquire the critical skills demanded by current and emerging markets in the manufacturing, agriculture, trade, tourism, hospitality, and finance sectors. The CDCs also provide community residents with training on skills such as effective communication strategies, teamwork, decision making, CV writing, and job interview-preparation. These opportunities ensure that job seekers throughout Jordan are able to present themselves as valuable assets to prospective employers.
Many of the CDCs also help employers connect with and recruit qualified candidates who have completed JOHUD’s professional training programmes. Additionally, JOHUD has launched three offices to help train and secure jobs for local youths in regions suffering from some of the highest rates of unemployment. Through collaboration with the UNFPA, over 4942 young people have found work thanks to programmes run from these offices.
A central pillar of the federal government's poverty alleviation strategy is to promote the growth of micro enterprises. JOHUD supports this effort by providing the CDC network with the resources needed to offer monetary and technical assistance to small businesses in local communities. This assistance helps prospective entrepreneurs secure loans that enable them to establish, manage, or further develop their projects.
The Small Business Unit
The Small Business Unit (SBU) represents another component of JOHUD’s broader economic empowerment strategy, by serving as a means for community residents to become self-employed. Since it was established in 1996, the SBU has helped thousands of clients establish or expand their businesses. Primarily, the SBU provides non-financial support to entrepreneurs in the form of training, capacity building, and advisory services.
However, where appropriate, the SBU also provides access to credit through its loan operation. Loans are provided to entrepreneurs, such as women, who might otherwise encounter difficulties in gaining access to credit. Through the CDC network, the SBU ensures that, even in remote areas, people can gain access to the financial support they need to help their businesses grow.
We recognise that securing a prosperous future for our country depends on our ability to manage our limited natural resources in a way that adequately meets the needs and aspirations of our local communities and economy.
Although securing access to permanent supplies of water and energy will be vital, we believe that people themselves are our most valuable resource when overcoming environmental challenges. If we commit ourselves to using every tool at our disposal to build a sustainable future for our country, we can overcome any obstacle that we face.
All development processes in Jordan are affected by environmental constraints. Jordan has very little arable land and suffers from one of the lowest per capita water supplies on earth. Additionally, numerous large-scale influxes of refugees and immigrants into Jordan have led to rapid population growth and increased strains on our limited reserves of natural resources. JOHUD supports national strategies that promote environmental conservation by implementing water and agricultural projects at our Community Development Centres (CDC) and through fostering a culture of environmental awareness throughout Jordan.
Through the CDC network, JOHUD works at the community-level to promote the economic and environmental benefits of techniques and technologies that help communities consume water in a sustainable way. This work features numerous initiatives, including but not limited to:
• Training on the use of water harvesting methods/technologies.
• The rehabilitation of dams, springs, and irrigation channels.
• The management of waste water and grey water recycling.
JOHUD prioritises the implementation of these initiatives within farming communities, as agricultural production represents one of the largest contributions to the nation’s total water consumption. In addition to introducing community residents to water-efficient farming systems, these programmes also help identify prospective community partners and project sites.
Additionally, JOHUD’s training programmes encourage low-income families to use home gardens as a method of maximising the utility of water, while eliminating any unnecessary waste. These gardens also serve as a supplemental source of nutrition and as a means of generating income when harvest yields allow for the sale of surplus produce.
JOHUD became the first NGO in Jordan to assist in the sale of this produce through the establishment of rural market programmes, typically hosted at local CDC’s. By launching this initiative, JOHUD provides a space for community members to market their products while raising community environmental awareness by showcasing innovative, efficient farming techniques.
In the context of growing food insecurity, these strategies promote efficient resource consumption and self-sufficiency for those who live off the land, while increasing the amount of available food on the market.