Queen Rania spends day with people from Northern Badia, encourages collaborations with JRF

September 20, 2007

(Office of Her Majesty, Press Department – Northern Badia) In the spirit of the Holy Month of Ramadan, Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah spent the day with the people of Northern Badia as she toured charity organizations, visited schools, and engaged the citizens of Sabha and Sobhiyeh in a frank discussion about their needs.

During her visit to the area, Queen Rania spent some time at Sabha Society for People with Special Needs, which runs small scale activities and caters to around 20 people with mental and physical disabilities.

Mothers of some of the youngest beneficiaries were on hand to detail some of the hardships their families have undergone as they discussed the needs of the organization.

Calling for collaboration between the Jordan River Foundation, the Queen Rania Society for Military Personnel and the municipality, Her Majesty said, “From what I’ve seen, I can tell we all need to work together to give this society our full support.”

The director of the facility, Odeh Al Baqoum, briefed the Queen on the society’s mission, as Her Majesty called for a comprehensive study on the status of handicap people in the area. Queen Rania also called for more staff training, building renovation, a new bus, hearing aids and wheel chairs for the society as well as medical treatment for special cases.

The citizens of Sabha and Sobhiyeh also welcomed the Queen’s gifts of food packages, blankets, and sewing machines for families in need. With over 11,000 people residing in Sabha and Sobhiyeh, and an 18 percent poverty rate, the residents are in need of vocational training centers as well as health facilities.

Empowering the local citizens, Queen Rania said, “No one knows the needs of this community better than you, and that is why you need to prioritize those needs and be involved in the decisions that affect your community so that everyone can benefit.”

To reduce the burden of long trips to hospitals, the Queen also asked that a dialysis machine be provided for the area.

Other challenges broached during the discussions focused on teacher shortage, maintenance needs of the school and the number of children per classroom. The citizens said they are also hoping for the activation of the local We Are All Jordan chapter to help improve the community involvement.

The municipality hosts a small children’s park, but the Queen noted that the unfriendly environment also needs renovation. Children of the area will soon be able to enjoy new toys, shaded areas, and new chairs so they can have somewhere inviting to spend their spare time.

Before leaving Sabha and Sobhiyeh, Queen Rania paid a visit to the home of Abu Ayman, who welcomed the Queen to his modest home and recounted the story of his family as they dealt with poverty and health problems. As part of the support package initiated by Her Majesty for the area, renovation works will be conducted on Abu Ayman’s house.