Queen visits Um Nuwara, Al Qweismeh

Queen Rania calls for more summer educational activities

July 11, 2007

(Jordan Times, Petra - Amman) Her Majesty Queen Rania on Tuesday visited the Queen Rania Park (QRP) to assess the leisure and educational activities on offer this summer for children, and was briefed on current income- generating projects launched at the 26-dunum facility.

The Queen’s visit comes five years after the park’s opening. The park is located in the improvised area of Um Nuwara and was designed to engage the area’s residents in recreational, educational and cultural activities, and provide opportunities for training and educating women.

During the visit, the Queen met with several youngsters aged between 7-12.

“In addition to having fun, children should benefit from the holiday period to increase their knowledge,” the Queen said.

Jordan has a relatively young population, with 41 per cent of its inhabitants below the age of 15.

The Queen also visited the women’s development centre at the park which provides training in sewing and handicrafts, expressing pride in the women’s work and the centre’s potential to provide sustainable livelihoods for local women.

One of the centre’s beneficiaries told the Queen about her experience and how the training had helped her overcome difficult social circumstances. Another woman explained how she had become a trainer at the centre after attending several workshops.

The Queen also met with women who were sewing special uniforms for waste collection services at the Greater Amman Municipality. In addition to the eight women already hired by the project, the workshop plans to employ an equivalent number to work on the same project.

The women’s development centre also offers capacity- building workshops and brings in experts from different programmes such as IRADA and MIZAN.

Amman Mayor Omar Maani, who accompanied the Queen during the visit, emphasised the role that the park plays to develop human resources and establish income-generating projects.

Young people participating in a workshop at the youth centre briefed the Queen on their aspirations and current challenges. Among the challenges cited were: Child labour, early marriage among girls and child abuse.

Students participating in a military course told the Queen about the goals of their training.

“The park conducts year- long programmes and has extensive activities during the summertime especially during school holidays, such as early childhood and family protection,” the park’s director, Nancy Abu Haiyana, told the Queen during the visit.

Other activities include workshops and awareness- raising campaigns on issues such as serious diseases and work ethics, she added.