Queen Rania Visits Al Ma’mounieh Al Gharbieh Secondary Mixed School in Madaba

May 19, 2015

(Office of Her Majesty – Press Office - Amman) Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah checked today on the Healthy Kitchen Project implemented by the Royal Health Awareness Associations (RHAS) and in collaboration with the World Food Program (WFP) at Al Ma’mounieh Al Gharbieh Secondary Mixed School in Madaba.

While meeting with the stakeholders at the school premises, Her Majesty spoke to the attendees and praised the efforts put in by all parties involved and emphasized the importance of supporting such entrepreneurial programs that reach and serve communities, and contribute towards creating jobs that benefit women.

Queen Rania also highlighted the importance of reviewing the challenges faced - emphasizing the importance of documenting them - to study the feasibility of expansion and increasing the program’s reach to more schools.

At the visit, His Excellency Deputy Prime Minister Mohammad Thneibat, Minister of Education, expressed the Ministry’s interest in the program and its desire to increase the number of beneficiary schools next year. Thneibat also indicated that on-the-ground results showed great satisfaction with the quality of the food provided for the students by teachers and parents.

Ms. Enaam Barrishi, Director of RHAS, briefed Her Majesty about the program and its goals focusing on RHAS’s goals in developing the production kitchen of Al Aqsa Charitable Society in Madaba and highlighted that the kitchen received the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) accreditation.

The number of benefiting schools reached 10, Barrishi added. “While the number of students receiving daily meals reached 2300 students,” she said. RHAS plans to carry out a study to measure the effect of the programs to develop future plans.

Mrs. Majida Al Shawabkeh, school principle, underscored the positive outcomes of the program and the notable change in students’ attitudes, leading to a decreased number of absent students and increased grades and motivation.

Her Excellency Senator Nawal Faoury, president of Al Aqsa Charitable Society also spoke about the role of the Society and the importance of the program to local communities.

Also in attendance was Mr. Philippe-Serge, Deputy Country Director of World Food Program, who expressed the WFPs readiness to continue supporting the program and help pave the way for it to reach the largest possible number of schools.

After the meeting, Her Majesty stopped by a classroom where she met with and greeted Al Aqsa Charitable Society kitchen employees who gave her a brief on the process and benefits of producing healthy and nutritious food for students.

Before leaving the school, Queen Rania stopped by a third grade classroom to check the healthy food packages given to students. She also attended a short lesson on healthy eating habits that was being given to the students in an interactive, fun and informative manner.

The program uses a holistic approach of implantation which engages local communities and Community-Based Organization which, in return, trickles down the benefits to the surrounding community by providing job opportunities for local and investing back in local community suppliers used to procure raw material and equipment.

The selected CBO, Al Aqsa Charitable Society, was established in 1991 under the Ministry of Social Development. The kitchen was established in 2011 and is located in central Madaba and surrounded by 20+ schools that are part of school feeding program. The society offers home cooked meals and pastries.

Al Ma’mounieh Al Gharbieh Secondary Mixed School in Madaba was established in 1989 and has 530 students from Kindergarten to grade 12.