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Thursday, April 8, 2004

JRF National Awareness Campaign

Queen Rania visits children's educational, disabilities facilities in Dubai

(Office of Her Majesty, Press Department - Dubai) Striving to build on the model it has set for the region in child safety and early childhood development issues, the Jordan River Foundation (JRF) is extending the reach of its programs by launching a year-long National Awareness Campaign focusing on the prevention of child abuse and neglect.

The campaign will serve as a major channel of communication to eventually eliminate the existence of child abuse and neglect in Jordan.

The main objective of the campaign is to create awareness and educate society about appropriate child rearing and healthy familial interactions that will initiate dialogue and an understanding about child safety and abuse issues on local and regional levels.

According to JRF Director General Ms. Maha Khatib, the foundation needs to raise JD500,000 to ensure a successful implementation of the National Awareness Campaign. She commended the efforts undertaken by the private sector in supporting and promoting initiatives like the Child Safety Program’s pioneering prevention, intervention and training initiatives.

“We are happy that the private sector in the Arab World is taking up its civic responsibility by supporting social development issues,” Ms. Khatib said at a press conference ahead of a fundraising event supported by DAMAS in Dubai to benefit the foundation’s Child Safety Program’s National Awareness Campaign.

The event, attended by Queen Rania, Chairperson of JRF, will fund part of the budget allocated for adopting a long-term campaign to increase public awareness about violence against children with the hope of eventually ridding society of such ills.

Queen Rania has spearheaded efforts to raise awareness on the issue of child welfare often stating that shedding light on sensitive social problems by opening a candid dialogue on social ills, and facing, rather than ignoring problems brings habitually overlooked topics to the forefront of the national agenda.

DAMAS Group CEO Mr. Tawheed Abdullah underlined his company’s pride in cooperating with the JRF, noting that Queen Rania does do not represent Jordan only, but the entire Arab World.

“Her Majesty has taken pioneering steps in ending the uncivilized phenomena of child abuse. We have to continue and support these efforts until the goal is hopefully realized,” Mr. Abdullah added.

The Jordan River Foundation, established in 1995 and chaired by Queen Rania, is a non-profit Jordanian non-governmental organization (NGO) whose mission is to promote, in partnership with stakeholders, the development of a dynamic Jordanian society by initiating and supporting sustainable social, economic and cultural programs that empower communities and individuals based on their needs and priorities.

The National Awareness Campaign includes the TV program, Beit Sgheer, hosted by Director of the JRF’s Child Safety Program and early childhood development specialist Dr. Hala Hammad, and the Ajyaluna Campaign which consists of TV commercials, radio announcements, as well as press and outdoor advertisements.

JRF’s Child Safety Program, a leading national and regional institution addressing the issue of child abuse and neglect, functions through two facilities: the Dar Al-Aman Center for intervention, a first in Jordan and the Arab world, serving as a temporary shelter and offering psychological, medical, social, and educational care for child victims of physical and sexual abuse and neglect, and the Jabal Al Naser Center for prevention, awareness and training activities, in collaboration with local and international institutions.

In November 2003, Queen Rania inaugurated a spacious and better-equipped facility that is modeled upon real-life homes where the integrity of the family is a guiding factor. During her stay in the UAE, Queen Rania also opened the JRF exhibition at the Dubai Ladies Club where she was met by Her Highness Sheikha Manal bint Mohammad Bint Rashed Al Maktoum.

The exhibition, proceeds of which will benefit JRF’s individual and community empowerment projects, was attended by wives of ambassadors as well members of the Jordanian community in Dubai.

The Queen also visited the Dubai Autism Center where she was briefed by board members including Sheikha Lubna Al Qassimi on facilities and services aiming to raise awareness, offer diagnosis and consultan