Project archive for Ma'an

Al-Hussein University Project Design and Management Conference

Award Amount: $91.00
Volunteer(s): Emily Scott and Veronica Muoio
Locations(s): Al-Hussein University, Ma'an
Dates(s): November 2012 to December 2012
Participants: 40 male and female college students

Every Tuesday morning for seven weeks, a group of students gathered to talk. Some of these students were interested in the arts, some in education, others, in business– what all of them had in common was a desire to help others.  They brought their big ideas and left their egos at home. Over the course of our seven week Project Design and Management workshop, students collaboratively transformed their big ideas and passions into concrete project plans they hope to carry out in the university.


Throughout the workshope, students worked as groups in activities ranging from building straw towers, a fun teambuilding warm-up, to creating and presenting community maps of the University, which show different interpretations and usages of space. FOJ funds provided the materials for all these activities, as well as for handouts and packets for student reference (and for homework!).


Their first big project will be to create a Student Volunteer Advisory Committee to structure and support student volunteer initatives on campus. They will use the skills they learned during the PDM workshop, including PACA tools, identifying vision, goals, and objectives, creating an action plan, and delegating roles and responsbilities.. Inshallah we will continue working with these generous and creative students in an advising role as they take the reins of the SVAC and begin to implement their projects!


Journalism Camp – Wadi Musa

Award Amount: $65.00
Volunteer(s): V. Muoio, M. Worthington
Locations(s): Wadi Musa
Dates(s): August 26, 2012 - August 30, 2012
Participants: 25 females, ages 13-19

The Wadi Musa Journalism Camp was a five day program for high school girls to  learn more about journalism, develop media and communication skills, and have fun! The camp focused on perspective taking, interviewing, ethics, brainstorming and writing, and constructive criticism. The camp was a combination of discussions and slideshows, group activities, and individual work, all centered around interviews the girls did with elderly women in the community who come to the Girls’ Center for our weekly “Grandmothers’ Club”.  Both the girls and the women loved the interview! The women were tickled pink that a room full of eager high school students were so excited to hear their stories, and the girls were amazed at what they learned. One camper later said “You know, the woman I interviewed is in my family– she’s my grandmother’s cousin– so I see her all the time. But normally we just talk about normal stuff. I never knew what she had been through in life.”  The interview provided material for the girls to write articles which will be published on-line in our upcoming fall journalism club!

Additionally, the campers had the chance to dialogue with four awesome, creative Jordanian college students and recent graduates who helped us facilitate the camp. Two of these young women are involved in investigative journalism and documentary film-making, and they talked to the girls about how they are able to pursue their passions and get their voices heard. It was inspirational for the girls to learn more about their academic and career options. One camper told me that before the camp, she had planned on doing the science track for Towjihi, but now she wants to do the literature (“adabi”) track so that she can study media in the future.

The girls’ enthusiasm for journalism and media has led to the creation of a weekly club held at the Markaz Shabat to practice their skills further and learn more about different aspects of journalism, like blogging and social media, photography, and film. It’s a great way to support the girl’s interests and work on the current YD Project Framework goals at the same time!

We used the funds from FOJ to buy activities supplies,  pens and reporter’s style flip notebook for each camper, and to do a lot of photocopying. We made surveys for each day in order to improve the curriculum, which we hope to use again in other parts of Jordan in the future. We also provided lunch every day. Thank you Friends of Jordan!

Expand Your Mind Through English Camp

Award Amount: $100.00
Volunteer(s): M. Trogolo, A Ballestas
Locations(s): Ar-Rajef
Dates(s): June 2010
Participants: 55 female students

The first three days of the summer camp consisted of leadership training for the girls in ninth through eleventh grades.  The goal was to prepare these girls to politely help the younger girls to do fitness, English, and art activties; we really wanted the older girls to learn to facilitate, instead of just doing tasks for their fellow campers.  The girls really rose to the challenge!  They were enthusiastic and patient camp counselors for girls in the second through ninth grades.  Funds from Friends of Jordan were used to buy crafts supplies (i.e. paint, paint brushes, different types of paper, markers, glue, and scissors).  All of the participants enjoyed taking part  in an engaging activity over the summer  vacation, and the older participants developed their leadership skills.

English Summer Camp Extravoganza (Part II)

Award Amount: $150.00
Volunteer(s): J. Guajardo
Locations(s): Rashed
Dates(s): June-July 2009
Participants: 50 male, ages 10-15

The Rashed English Summer Camp Extravaganza (Part II) and Field Trip will almost exactly resemble the same series of summer camps undertaken last year and will consist of the same four components:  An English camp for distinguished students from the younger grades, a leadership camp for distinguished students from the older grades, remedial sessions for all primary grades, and Tawjihi review sessions for the secondary grades.  Major changes this year include a shortening of the length of the camp (to accommodate the PCV’s early COS date and busy schedule associated with packing up and saying good-bye), the retooling of the remedial sessions to include more active and hands-on games/arts and crafts, and the addition of an end of the camp field trip to Petra for the English and leadership camp students to practice their English in a authentic environment.

The first component, the English camp, will be a 3 hour-a-day, 5 day camp over a one week period offered to five outstanding students from each grade 5-7.  Needs targeted by this camp are underdeveloped English proficiencies in all four language skills but especially speaking and listening.  The camp will address these needs by providing a fun, creative environment where students will keep daily journals, solve puzzles, and perform role plays.  Each student will be asked to complete an individual project to be presented during a celebration during the final day (book report, news segment, or story), as well as a group project which will also be presented to the parents (debate, play, or poetry contest).


The second component, the leadership camp, will be a 3 hour-a-day, 5 day camp over a one week period offered to five outstanding students from each grade 8-10.  Needs targeted by this camp include poor decision-making and conflict resolution skills, lack of future goals, narrow understanding of world issues, little tolerance for the other, underdeveloped critical thinking skills, lack of suitable role models, poor teamwork/cooperation skills, and apathy and lack of engagement in the community.  The camp will be run in English, strengthening speaking and listening skills while simultaneously developing students’ communication, decision-making, teamwork, goal-setting, conflict resolution, peer mentoring, and critical thinking skills through workshops, discussions, and fun activities.  Each student will be asked to complete an individual report on an international or local issue and propose a responsible solution, as well as a group community project to be unveiled to parents during a celebration during the final day.  The project chosen last summer, a peer-taught Arabic and English remedial course for elementary school students, was a resounding success, saw 15 elementary students satisfactorily finish the course, and operated throughout both the fall and spring semesters of this past academic year.  The religion teacher will be responsible for assisting implementation of this summer’s chosen community project for the coming year after I have left.

In addition, the centerpiece of the English and leadership camps will be a field trip to Petra (a 15 minute trip by bus) on the 5th day of each camp in order to practice their English with foreigners who don’t speak any Arabic.  Students will prepare questions ahead of time, take notes from the conversations they have, and afterwards debrief what they learned and what defied their expectations.  The goals of this experience are threefold:  to expose students to real foreigners (not only those seen on TV), to motivate students’ interest in English as an applicable skill, and to reward the outstanding students who have invested great effort in learning English throughout the school year.  Each group of campers will be accompanied by the PCV and the PC counterpart.

The third component, the remedial sessions, will be a one hour-a-day 4 day camp over a two week period for each of every three divisions of students (5-6th grades, 7-8th grades, 9-10th grades).  Each division of students will be composed of up to eight weaker students from each class.  Needs targeted by this camp include deficiencies in phonetics, reading, and writing skills.  Students will strengthen these skills through a variety of active games and arts and crafts.

The final component, the Tawjihi review sessions, will be a one and a half hour-a-day, 8 day camp over a two week period offered to up to ten students from each of the 1st secondary and 2nd secondary grades.  Needs targeted by this camp include lack of familiarity with the intricacies of English grammar which will be tested during every student’s 2nd secondary year at school and determine the course of his future.  Students will perform review exercises and competitions and will all take a practice Tawjihi exam at the end of the course.  The goal of the camp is for every student to receive at least a 40% score on the Tawjihi exam.

While these camps require few resources outside of the classroom, there are significant costs which will not be covered by the community’s contribution of 50 JD, such as the two field trips to Petra.  Increasing the community contribution would place too heavy a burden on many poorer families with many children, while lack of funds from outside the community would strip the camps of their centerpiece and opportunity for enrichment of the field trip.  The camps will reuse many of the materials purchased with last year’s Friends of Jordan grant (such as the tape player, bulletin boards, whiteboard, etc.), but a second small grant from Friends of Jordan would help English come alive for those students who work hard and value their education.  This is the most sustainable part of the camp – giving the students an experience that will validate their academic effort and inspire their interest in learning for years to come.  Also in terms of sustainability, the leadership students will also identify a community need and plan a community project to address that need which will be implemented next year under the supervision of the religion teacher.  Although teachers will be involved through chaperoning the field trip, my motivated counterpart unfortunately lives far away in Irbid and will not be present for the camp, while my local counterpart lacks the interest to assist the project in a significant way (I was left to administer the entire camp last year, which was feasible but disappointing).  However, I feel this does not detract from the fact that the students deserve the best summer camp possible.  My primary goals are that students will learn valuable lessons and increase their motivation for learning English while having a good time and that parents will be happy for the low-cost learning opportunity.

Art Expressions Camp

Award Amount: $295.00
Volunteer(s): A. Ballestas, C. James
Locations(s): Rajef, Ghor Al-Safi
Governorate(s): ,
Dates(s): June-July 2009
Participants: 7 male, 12 female, ages 7-24

From June 16-18 the students  from the Rajef Society of Special Education had an opportunity to express themselves through the process of making art.  The students started the camp with face-masks that they molded onto each other faces with paper-mache- their faces all covered in paper-mache- was quite a laugh –then later decorated with feathers, stickers, and paint.  The day moved on with wall mural painting, where the students hand-printed the Jordan flag, drew flowers, and people. The staff and I had the great opportunity to witness a planed mural between the older the students- they each gave each other a role, of what to draw and paint; resulting in a great painting of desert mountains with a camel and flowers. Other activities were tie dying shirts with Tumeric and Habiscus, photo-frame decorating, and food art – making pizza faces, peanut-butter clay creatures and falafel eating fun.  After each activity many of the students were eager to share with others,what they have made.

As well, as the students having an entertaining time, the students were also able to put into practice in progressing their developmental skills  improving their self-awareness, self-expression, gross and fine motor skills, confidence, focus, and task sequencing.  Regardless of the severity of their disabilties the laughter as they scared each other with their mask, and the jumping up and down across the room of the enjoyment of seeing themselves on a picture with their classmates expressed an unlimited amount of feelings.


English Summer Camp Extravaganza

Award Amount: $150.00
Volunteer(s): J. Guajardo
Locations(s): Rashed
Dates(s): July-August 2008
Participants: 37 male students, 10-16 years old

The Rashed for Boys represented the first summer camp of its kind in the village and was successful in engaging both weak and strong students in fun, supplementary English activities.  While attendance was about half capacity, those who participated came away with strengthened English proficiencies and various life skills.  Remedial students learned about the complexities of English phonetics and expanded their knowledge of parts of speech.  The sole Tawjihi student in attendence, who had just finished 10th grade, scored 33% on the practice Tawjihi exam, a decent score considering he still has two years of intensive English grammar ahead of him.  However, the most impressive performance came from the participants in the core English and Leadership clubs.  English Club attendies learned to write daily journal entries and letters, as well as simple book reports, short stories, and newspaper articles.  Those in the Leadership Club developed skills in effective communication, decision making, conflict resolution, teamwork, and goal-setting.  Most impressively, they assessed the needs of the village and chose to implement a community service project in the form of peer-taught remedial classes for elementary students.  And of course, at the completion of all summer camps the fathers were invited to see the results of their children’s active participation during a small party and graduation ceremony.  The English Club students presented a play and the Leadership Club students presented short reports on various problems in the world with proposed solutions.  None of this would have been possible without the support of Friends of Jordan, in the form of the hundreds of worksheet/manual copies, many posterboards, a whiteboard, materials for students to make their own journals, coloring materials, a stereo for listening activities, and funds for the Leadership students to carry out their community service project.  My sincere thanks and thanks from my students for the time, effort, and donation by Friends of Jordan on behalf of the students.

School Mural Project

Award Amount: $100.00
Volunteer(s): T. Flanagan, J. Clemens
Locations(s): Rajef
Dates(s): May 2008
Participants: 9 male, 6 female, 9-24 years old

We painted several outdoor murals at the Rajef Boys’ School. The aim was to spruce up the campus and the community by covering up old and abused murals with fresh ones. The FOJ grant was spent purchasing paint, brushes, rollers, tape and paint thinner. A group of adults and some students were able to first white-wash the exterior walls then paint new murals on top. Another team braved ladders to paint a giant Jordanian flag, underneath which we wrote “We are all Jordan” in Arabic. The outside murals included a small flag, a Treasury replica from Petra, Jabal Haroon (Mt Aaron), a large map of Jordan and a “Welcome to the Rajef Boys’ School” wall. The resulting murals brighten up the atmosphere and the community is really excited about them as well.

English Materials File

Award Amount: $52.00
Volunteer(s): E. Spiegel
Locations(s): Zbaireh, Shobak
Dates(s): July 2007
Participants: 2 Teachers

I used the FOJ funds to purchase four expanding file folders, contact paper, packets of different-sized envelopes and glue. Five expanding files were assigned to the specific grades 4-8 and the last was for miscellaneous teaching aids and worksheets for grades 1-3. Within each grade’s file, the pockets were labeled by unit in the English book. Within each unit I placed teaching aids labeled by grade, unit, and appropriate page number. Teaching aids filed in this manner were magazine and coloring book pictures demonstrating vocabulary words, flashcards, worksheets, and envelopes containing specific activities such as strip stories and matching games. Many of these visual aids were those that my counterparts and I had used over the past two years; some were new. Most were laminated with contact paper to protect them from wear. At the time of writing this report, classes have not yet started at school so there has been no opportunity to use the files in the classroom. However, my counterparts have looked through the files and familiarized themselves with what’s available in them. They understand the filing system and are excited to use more visual aids in their classes. I’ve also left all leftover materials (envelopes, contact paper, colored paper from my own collection) with them so that they can add to the available teaching aids without having to invest anything but the time it takes to make them.

I think the aides will be put to good use during the school year. The one thing I would recommend to another volunteer contemplating a similar project would be to do it earlier in his/her service than I did. That way it can be available while the volunteer is still present in the school to model its use, and materials can be added over a longer period of time to keep from having a huge workload all at once.

Recorders and Music Classes

Award Amount: $94.39
Volunteer(s): A. Girard
Locations(s): Taibeh, Wadi Musa
Dates(s): September 2006 - February 2007
Participants: 24 girls, ages 12-14

I purchased a class set of 9 plastic recorders. This is fewer than I had hoped, due to an unavailability of the least expensive recorders. I have had 2 groups to date. Each group consists of 8 girls and myself. We use sheet music from my personal collection. We started by learning how to play the basic notes of the recorder and how to read the corresponding notes on sheet music.

From there, we have been able to move into very simple songs. It is a very popular program, but the girls are not used to an activity like this and do not have the corresponding hand-eye coordination. It is slow going to develop the muscle memory necessary to further develop their skills with the recorder. The classes are still ongoing and a new class will start in February. Our goal is to learn to play the Jordanian National Anthem so that we can present it at future center activities.

Ramadan School Pride

Award Amount: $60.20
Volunteer(s): E. Spiegel
Locations(s): Zbaireh, Shobak
Dates(s): October - December 2006
Participants: 76 boys and girls, ages 6-14

To start, the school principal organized a school yard cleanup (trash pickup). All students spent one morning before school started cleaning up the school yard. Then, we used FOJ funds to laminate three wall maps to hang in older kids’ classrooms, purchase paint for alphabet murals in younger kids’ rooms and a Jordan map in the library.

Volunteers painted the alphabet murals, which were too high for kids to reach and also a little more intricate than most of the kids’ levels would allow. The Jordan map was painted by older students during free periods when their regular teacher was absent (with volunteer supervision). As a result of the project, the older students have greater experience, ability and confidence in painting, which several of them had never done before.

The school yard was completely cleared of trash for the first time, at least since I’ve been there. Since the initial clean-up, more garbage has accumulated but the principal has also organized smaller student clean-ups to address it periodically. The alphabet murals are hugely popular for the younger kids (who were very impatient to have them completed) and are used as a visual aid for alphabet and vocabulary practice by the English teachers.

Umm QuaysRoman Column in Jerash
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