The Jordan Times
By Laila Azzeh
AJLOUN- Hundreds of underprivileged families in Ajloun Governorate will have warmer memories of the current winter thanks to the National Goodwill Campaign.
Some 300 families from Sakhra District, which has a population of 28,000 and is located 22 kilometres from Ajloun city, on Saturday received assistance that included blankets, heaters and foodstuff.
The donations are part of the campaign′s efforts that ramp up during the winter to mitigate the hardships citizens face during the cold season.
The winter is too harsh here and perhaps the district is the coldest and poorest area in Jordan due to its elevation, said Suleiman Qudah, director of the Princess Basma Development Centre in Ajloun.
The mountains of Ajloun, 70km northwest of Amman, reach over 1,000 metres above sea level in certain areas.
Residents of the district mainly work in agriculture and low-paid government jobs, Qudah added, noting that the average income of each household in the region is about JD250, which is less than half the poverty line.
The district lacks job opportunities and development projects, causing residents to fall prey to unemployment, Ajloun Governor Abdullah Al Khattab said.
HRH Princess Basma, who leads the goodwill campaign, presented the donations to the beneficiaries before chairing a meeting with a number of residents, tribal leaders and youth representatives.
At the gathering, attended by members of the campaign′s higher committee, the princess highlighted that the drive, implemented by the Jordanian Hashemite Fund for Human Development (JOHUD), emanates from the need to lend a helping hand to less fortunate families.
Despite the economic and political challenges Jordan is facing due to the unprecedented complicated situation in the region, it is strong and able to overcome all hardships with the capabilities and cohesion of its people and their sense of responsibility to maintain security and stability, the princess said.
She commended the effective and strategic partnerships JOHUD has built with several entities to provide humanitarian aid to the targeted families, citing the fund′s cooperation with Orange Jordan and the Jordan Engineers Association (JEA).
Participants at the meeting acquainted the princess with their demands, which included establishing a sewing workshop to provide work opportunities for women, improving the quality of health services, setting up a physical therapy centre and carrying out awareness campaigns on the rights of people with disabilities.
Princess Basma noted that the campaign will soon hold a free medical day in the district.
Also on Saturday, the princess paid a visit to a family in one of the district′s villages. The house, where the 10-member family lives, was hit hard by the recent snowstorm.
The JEA will renovate the house under its cooperation with the goodwill campaign.
Jordan Housing Developers Association President Kamal Awamleh said the association will also help the campaign renovate the houses of underprivileged people.
For his part, Orange Jordan Chairman Shabib Ammari underlined the company′s commitment to continuing its support to the campaign.
Launched in 1999 by JOHUD, the National Goodwill Campaign provides support for the poor and marginalised across the Kingdom.