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®Aida Burnett Cargill for Action contre la Faim ®Aida Burnett Cargill for Action contre la Faim

Testimony

Jordan

Women’s empowerment in Azraq farms

Maram is a Jordanian who lives with her family in Azraq Town. She graduated in 2016 from the Jordanian University of Science and Technology in Irbid, with a specialisation in agricultural engineering. Prior to her engagement as Team Leader, she worked for IKBA another non-governmental and profit organisation as a surveyor consultant and later worked as a teacher in the schools for refugees in the Azraq Town area.

During her work on the farm, she would manage the project’s cash for work workers’ tasks and assignments, as well as write reports, detailing her daily routine on the farms as well as her accomplished tasks while sitting under the olive trees. “I would write about how we were flipping the piles once or twice a day,” she explained. “Sometimes, we would need to flip three or four times a day, depending on the temperature and humidity.” However, during these days she learned new and exciting skills. She expressed how her time management and communication skills grew while interacting with the cash for work workers and with delivering work on deadlines. Moreover she learned to use the different machinery such as the grader. “After working with the compost on the farms, I became a full-fledged mechanic!” Maram said humorously as she recalled her days on the farms.

One of the most interesting parts of her job was being in the middle of the composting action. She loved being near the farms and working side by side with the cash for work workers. Part of her work revolves around using several types of testing to monitor the composting process. “On occasion, I control the dimensions of the pile, as it is different every time because in the field it is not as on paper,” she then laughed and commented, “On paper, they told us that the pile dimensions are four meters and two and a half, but in the field you cannot control the pile with these dimensions.”

Maram is blessed for the wonderful opportunity to be engaged in Action Against Hunger’s project, as it has positively affected her daily life. “My personality was strong, but now I am stronger,” she says. During the short period of time she worked as the team leader, she felt her personality played a huge role as she gained confidence when dealing with the responsibility she gained as a result of working as part of this project. Even though she is moving on to other things, she cherishes the relationship she built with Action Against Hunger’s team, who she likens to members of her extended family. “We were like friends all the time. I really liked my work here. I actually did not want to leave but, you see sometimes we need to improve ourselves.” She believes it is important to strive for different experiences, to challenge yourself, to better yourself and to explore different career opportunities as “this is life and we need to move on”.

Maram hopes that more women in the area will obtain job opportunities instead of staying home, as is the usual social norm in the area. “The women here don’t interact with these jobs, so they prefer to stay at home and cook and raise their kids. We need the community to understand that women need to be present in these projects,” she said. She is an advocate for women’s involvement in the work force and hopes more organisations will focus on this as they bring more projects to the area, as Action Against Hunger did with this project.

“This needs time,” Maram commented, “You do not change a community in a night, so it needs time to involve women in these projects.” She always encourages women around her to have more self-confidence and engage in field work, as she views it as an enriching experience, especially since women make up half of her community.  

 

 

 

Disclaimer: This article was written by Zein Al Maha Oweis, the Senior Communications Officer for Action Against Hunger Jordan Mission. All photographs of Maram were taken by Aida Burnett-Cargill, Communications Advisor for Action Against Hunger Middle East (MERO).

 

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