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Sponsor a child in Jordan

Child from Amman, Jordan

Unemployment and poverty mean many Jordanian families go without the things most of us take for granted. Children are particularly hard-hit, experiencing great hardship from the very start of their lives and unable to have the fun, care-free childhood they deserve.

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An agrarian economy struggles to provide for its people

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is in the Middle East, bordered by Saudi Arabia, Israel, Syria and Iraq. Mostly desert, it has a population of around 7 million. The Jordanian economy is primarily agricultural, but many basic foodstuffs have to be imported. Poverty and unemployment are rife, occurring as a result of slow economic growth. Around 12% of the population are without work, and many children grow up in poor living conditions.

Our Work in Jordan

Amman

Child from Aqaba in Jordan

We began our work in Jordan in 1986 when the first SOS Children's Village opened in the capital, Amman. Despite being the capital of the country, inequality and extreme poverty are very real problems in Amman. Today, our Village there is home to 108 children.

Aqaba

A second SOS Children's Village was opened in 1992 in southern Jordan in the harbour town of Aqaba, in a residential area with a good infrastructure including schools and hospitals. 

Irbid

Irbid is in northern Jordan, the country's third largest city and the gateway to Syria, Lebanon and Iraq. The third community was opened in a residential area on the edge of the city, with good nursery schools and schools nearby.

In 2003, SOS Children's Villages established an Emergency Relief Programme in Ruwayshid in western Jordan providing food, medicine and temporary accommodation for refugees from the war in neighbouring Iraq.

Life in SOS Children’s Villages Jordan

For Massar, 18, last year was all about studying hard. Massar, who lives at the youth home in SOS Children's Village Amman in Jordan, sat the national high school exams in July, earning an 84% average. Her grades have qualified her to study engineering, one of the two fields that Massar had always wanted to get into.

“Our only 'weapon' is our education”

Jordan map

Asked what has made her determined and focused, she says without hesitation, "I did not create my situation or choose to be an orphan; many people look down at people like me because we have been abandoned by our families or have lost our parents. I want to change such views and let them know that abandoned children are not losers and can be high achievers. I want to have a good education, so I can secure a good life for myself and my children in the future. People like us have to work very hard for a good life and no one will help us if we don't help ourselves. This is particularly true for us girls; our only 'weapon' is our education." 

The director of SOS Children's Village Amman, Hossam Abou Goab, who has known Massar since 1995, believes in her potential and admires her determination. "When she sets a goal, she works hard to achieve it." The issue he finds to be challenging about Massar though is her constant fear of tomorrow. "Massar has never lived her life day by day; she worries a lot. At the village we have been working hard to help her overcome her fears.  Her SOS mother, Fatima, who Massar is very attached to, has given her a lot of support in this regard."  

Fatima, who has raised Massar since she was one month old, is a proud mother. "My daughter has always been distinguished in everything she did both at the village and at school. She was always an excellent student and well-behaved. From early childhood on, she used to tell me: 'mom, I have to become a successful and important person'," she says. 

Local contact

SOS Children's Villages Association of Jordan

P.O.Box 926405

11190 Amman

Jordan

Tel: +96/26/566 5724

Fax: +96/26/568 8372

e-mail: sosjor@nets.com.jo

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SOS Children’s Villages provide a warm, safe environment for happy children to grow up in.