- Community Empowerment
The Royal Health Awareness Society
The Royal Health Awareness Society (RHAS) is Jordan’s guide and conscience when it comes to our health. In collaboration with ministries, national institutions, international organizations, NGOs, universities and private companies, RHAS has tackled issues as diverse as road safety, diabetes, and fitness, while mounting nationwide campaigns to raise awareness about healthy lifestyles.
In fact, they aim to inform all children and their parents about basic nutrition, hygiene, the benefits of exercise, the hazards of smoking, and other health issues facing the nation. Their efforts are helping Jordanians not only lead healthier lives, but encouraging children to study harder and pay more attention in school.
With the World Health Organization and the Ministry of Health in Jordan, RHAS is supporting national standards of health for schools through their Healthy Schools campaign. Now, a school can earn accreditation if it fulfils criteria, such as clean classrooms, soap in bathrooms, and safe playgrounds, as well as staff awareness, school leadership, and community involvement.
In Jordan today, 47 schools, including 8 Madrasati schools, can now reassure parents and students that they are health and safety conscious as their buildings proudly display their accreditation.
Local communities have been inspired to support RHAS with enthusiasm. Parent Teacher Associations are prioritising health, helping children cross the road to school or setting up joint breakfasts in the morning. Local authorities have also seized the opportunity, sending policemen to give seminars on safety, firemen to lecture on fire hazards, and doctors to give classes on first aid.
Companies have heeded the call for better health, as well. Partnerships with the private sector are extending the message and reach of RHAS across the country. One corporation, for example, helps distribute milk amongst participating schools and teaches students about nutrition.
Most encouraging has been the response of students themselves. They have launched their own initiatives to encourage healthier eating, started up activities to improve awareness, and promoted healthy behaviour in their fellow students in creative ways.
Engaging communities like this is one of the reasons bodies like RHAS can successfully improve the quality of life for so many children. And the benefits extend to families, too, as they learn from their sons and daughters what it means to be healthy.
It is through the expertise and energy of staff at RHAS, the ideas and enthusiasm of students, as well as the commitment of partners, that Jordanians are learning to build happy families and healthy homes.