Making a difference

Today I drove 10 minutes away from the Posh neighborhood of Abdoun with my dear friend Shalabieh to Jabal Al Nazeef. This is one of the poor areas in East Amman. Although I don’t like to divide Amman into East and West since we never had Berlin Wall or a civil war that would divide us. But what divides Amman is it’s social status and living standards.

We drove into this clean neighborhood with its narrow streets and old stone houses, and we stopped at a green (not sure what was the color) colored building which is the office of an NGO that is helping the community there with several projects such as:
1. Family Rehabilitation
2. Home makeover
3. Kindergarten
4. Computer Lab
5. Gather donations to help the needy families

My friend and I were greeted by a group of nice kids who know her since she is a regular visitor to the Dukkan (Shop, that’s what the local community call it). We walked thru small alleys over looking many balconies and houses with open doors until we reached another small old yellow colored building and we entered what is the Kindergarten. The kids go alone to their school which is a short walking distance from their homes, and everybody there seems to know everyone. Two kids came to help me with the donations I had (Clothes, Shoes, Computer Screens). I carried the four bags of donations and the two boys insisted on carrying the two computer screens whom were very excited. The local manager showed me the kindergarten, that consists of several rooms for kids, sleeping room for younger kids, computer lab, kitchen with microwave and fridge, and the storage room where we put the donations. The NGO gathers all the donations and they go checking on each needy family and decide what they need and give then coupons. On curtains days, the families come with their coupons and choose from the available donations. The NGO staff wash all used clothes and put them on hangers like in any shop. They do this so the families will not feel as if they are begging for charity.

The whole process took 20 minutes of my time but it took me to another world inside the world I live in. And it made me wonder how spoiled I am to complain about insignificant things in my life while others who live 10 minutes away are so underprivileged and are in need to any kind of help from the community. While this is not the first time I visit poor families or the first time to be involved in such charity but this short visit made me realize that we live in a planet within another. Therefore whenever I start to complain or bitch about work, a short drive to see and interact with those kids will make a great effect.

I salute NGOs who do such work and I salute all the members who are involved from the community. The NGO collect donations all year around, so if you have something that you never use in the closet, kitchen, TV room, go ahead and get rid of it, this will bring a smile on others.

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