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In Azraq Town, Jordanians and Syrians are working together through Action Against Hunger’s project, “Implementing Solid Waste Management in Azraq Municipality for Host Communities and Syrian Refugees in Azraq Town,” funded by Taiwan International Cooperating and Development Fund (ICDF) and Ville de Paris.
This project provides short-term employment opportunities on a cash for work basis to produce organic compost to sell to local farmers in the area. To complement the compost production, the project conducted studies of local solid waste management practices and the marketability of compost in the surrounding area. It also contributed to local institutional capacities, set up a waste sorting unit, and promoted messages on solid waste management with the local public.
One of the Jordanians engaged in this project is Team Leader Jamalat. “I do not like being without work and was always passionate about discovering new job opportunities,” Jamalat explained during a visit to the compost site. After obtaining her Tawjihi, the general high school examination certificate in Jordan, she worked as the manager of a sewing factory and making pastries before landing a job at Azraq Refugee Camp. “Any time I found a suitable job I would immediately apply for it.” It was while working at the camp that she heard about Action Against Hunger’s project in Azraq Town. She applied for the job, as she understood the nature of composting, and passed the application process with flying colours.
Jamalat oversees the “Cash for Work” workers at the compost site, including managing their rosters and annual leave. She also monitors the compost production mixing process and general site control. She focuses on having a positive attitude and how this impacts her life. The best part of her job is the success she achieves while working. “I really loved my job and I gave everything I had in my heart to this job,” she said with a smile on her face. “Every time I successfully accomplished something, I would be bursting with pride.”
She recalls a beautiful moment while working on this project. She remembers feeling sad the day her contract ended, as she had fallen in love with the place, her job, and her accomplishments. She did not realise the day would end in happiness rather than sadness. “I asked whether it was the end of my contract and they told me ‘no, your contract was being renewed’,” she said. “Upon hearing this, I was ecstatic. This boosted my morale and made me put more effort into my work.”
However, many Jordanians and Syrians face challenges finding employment, causing the unemployment rate in Jordan to remain high. “Our biggest problem is not the rising unemployment rate, but the lack of projects in the area,” noted Jamalat. “A person should not feel affected but to try and accomplish something and always strive for better. It made me love my job more and made me love the harmony and togetherness of the job. Of course, nothing feels better than success.”
Jamalat had many expectations for this project, but was not afraid to work hard and achieve her goals. “My expectation was that the work I am doing is going to be hard and that I would not meet the expectations of this project”. She remains thankful for this wonderful opportunity. “This job affected my life in a beautiful and positive way. It gave me a wonderful, warm feeling to go out into the world and discover better opportunities.”
This project is funded by Taiwan ICDF and Mairie de Paris.
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