Meet Ms.Reema Zghoul, Female Member of Ajloun Governorate Council n the lush northern region of Jordan.
With the COVID-19 lockdown extending week after week, the food production chains were rapidly diminishing, and this spelled real trouble for many Jordanian families.
Ms. Zghoul developed an initiative to meet the food needs of the local people in her community by distributing vegetable and crop seedlings to families in Ajloun. #????? _?????? _????? – #Nashmeh plants from home.
These questions, « What is the role of civil society institutions towards society during the COVID-19 crisis? What is my role as an elected council member? » from her governance training inspired Ms. Zghoul to act.
Ms.Zghoul polled her community using social media to find out which seedlings she should distribute.
Next, Ms. Zghoul contacted the governor of Ajloun, and he immediately granted her a permit and donated the first funds to purchase seeds. Ms. Zghoul then designed advertising, bought the first batch of seedlings, and contacted an organic farming specialist to assist the families in the farming process.
In phase one, seven thousand aubergine, okra, bell pepper and tomato seedlings were distributed to 140 families. This entire process also lowered food costs for these families while demonstrating the economic value of home-grown agriculture and community cooperation during a crisis.
Ms.Reema Zghoul wants to develop this initiative for cooperative work by manufacturing crops and giving them added value in the drying, pickling and food industries.
The positive community response led the Mayor of Ajloun to donate 10000 seedlings. Ms.Reema Zghoul is currently distributing the second batch of 10000 seedlings to the families that demonstrate a serious interest in farming. At the same time, leading institutions have reached out to Ms.Reema Zghoul to develop this initiative nationally.
To develop and execute this project, Ms.Reema Zghoul used many of the tools and skills that she learnt directly from the Forum of Federations MENA/ Arab Women Organization of Jordan – AWO Al-Hayat Center for Civil Society Development. Specifically:
-Training on advanced communication, leadership, community engagement and social media
-Training on advanced campaign management and Jordanian political parties
-Training workshop for women members of decentralization and municipal councils
In her own words:
« Community engagement was one of the training sessions that I participated in with the Forum of Federations. I was able to acquire many skills like « promotion and marketing » that I used directly during my initiative campaign and to gain the support of the community. The training also covered topics such as transformational leadership, gender-responsive budgeting and enhancing the role of elected women leaders, which inspired me to tackle this project.
-Ms. Reema Zghoul