Jordan, June 14, 2018
Queen Rania Visits Families Development Association

Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah visited the headquarters of the Families Development Association (FDA) in Jabal Al Qusor where she met with a number of people who have benefited from its counselling, training, and career services.

In a meeting with board members and staff, the Queen was briefed on the association’s various interventions and capacity-building programs, which strive to improve the economic and social conditions of beneficiaries in Amman, Ajloun, Ma’an, Karak, Balqa, Zarqa, Madaba, Mafraq, and the Central Ghor area.

Speaking at the meeting, FDA president, Muyassar Al Saadi, gave Her Majesty an overview of the association’s programs that aim to empower families living in poverty, women seeking employment, at-risk youth, and the elderly.

During a tour of the facilities, Queen Rania visited the association’s family counselling unit, which collaborates with local and international partners to provide psychological, medical, educational, and legal counselling. The FDA, in cooperation with the National Council for Family Affairs, has opened a family counselling center in the Hashmi Al Shamali area.

Her Majesty also joined a number of women at a workshop offered under the FDA’s flagship program, Izdihar Social and Economic Enhancement, which equips women living in underserved areas with training and guidance so that they may join the workforce.

The Izdihar program aims to enable Jordanian women to overcome cultural taboos surrounding roles in the service and tourism sectors, which are often filled by guest workers. The FDA also helps secure employment opportunities for its beneficiaries after they complete job and life skills training and learn about their legal rights as employees.

The Queen then stopped by the association’s kitchen, the site of a cooking training program credited with transforming the lives of 800 beneficiaries, 75 percent of whom have gone on to successfully join the workforce.

Under the cooking training program, the FDA established a student cafeteria at Al Hussein Bin Talal University, staffed wholly by its female trainees. Its success has been replicated in poverty pockets in Jordan’s governorates, culminating in the training of 60 women in Ma’an, 20 women in Ajloun, and the ongoing training of 40 women in the Southern Ghor.

Her Majesty wrapped up her visit with a stop at the FDA’s sewing workshop, which provides a platform for women to create and market their handicrafts. The Queen chatted with a number of beneficiaries, who said that the association’s training courses and handicraft exhibitions have boosted their sales.

The association also offers a program titled A Step toward Employment, which aims to address youth unemployment and poverty by providing training programs in line with the needs of the local marketplace. The program serves 240 unemployed young people in the Jordan Valley, Zarqa, and Amman, aiming to help them secure jobs in hotels and shopping malls.

Established in 1999, the Families Development Association is a non-governmental organization that aims to empower women by helping them develop skills needed in the modern workplace and by increasing their awareness of their rights. Striving to equip women to participate in the labor market, the association strengthens women’s roles within their families and enhances their quality of life.

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