SCHEP partnered with the Department of Antiquities to provide weekly activities for more than 450 disadvantaged students across Jordan as part of H.M. Queen Rania’s Madrasati Initiative.
Hailing from nine different schools in Ghwar as-Safi, Karak, Amman, and Irbid, the students met every Saturday for five weeks to learn about conservation, archeology, and the history of their respective areas. Specialists from Jordan’s Department of Antiquities and USAID SCHEP led workshops for students in pottery, mosaics, and the cultural heritage of their respective regions. The students also visited historical sites such as Dar as Sariya, Karak Castle, and the Roman Theatre in Amman. The program, spanning the month of April, gave students the opportunity to engage in a variety of educational hands-on activities and field trips.
The students, including a significant percentage of Syrian refugees, ranged from 4th to 6th grade and attend school in poverty pockets throughout Jordan that lack the resources or staff to engage in alternative education that highlights subject areas such as cultural heritage.
“I’ve never seen the students so engaged,” said Ms. Sawsan Abu Hammad, an administrator at Al Arqam School in Sahab, outside of Amman. “They loved the chance to be able to work with their hands and learn at the same time. It’s a unique opportunity and they can’t wait for the next weekend to do it again.”
This comment was echoed by students and teachers from each of the nine schools that participated in the USAID SCHEP sponsored activities of the Madrasati Initiative.
H.M. Queen Rania began the Madrasiti Initiative in 2008 to repair and restore schools, making them safe, brighter and more inspiring learning environments. A variety of partners, including UNICEF, Jordan River Foundation, and INJAZ, work with local communities to provide the services most needed by the local communities.