We Love Reading Initiative\ Taghyeer Organization has won a grant from the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI)\ Department of State for a project to empower the Jordanian youth. Before that project, We Love Reading had no target age for the volunteers, but rather everyone of every age could volunteer. The challenge in dealing with youth is their dormant potential and the unclear image that many of them have towards voluntary work and reading. However, this project has demonstrated that those were simply stereotypes and they definitely don’t represent the whole population of Jordanian youth. We have through this project trained 20 youth of six governorates on the art of reading aloud to children and how to start their own social initiatives. Our volunteers are now spread in Irbid, Mafraq, Ajloun, Amman, Karak and Wadi Musa, they have read to almost 700 children in mosques, nurseries, public parks, community centers and even the volunteers’ their own houses. This program has affected over 2000 children indirectly. In addition to reading aloud to children, our volunteers have come up with various social initiatives such as tutoring Syrian refugees’ children (who don’t go to schools because of traumas), giving away stories to children in public parks, setting up secondhand books sales and finding ways to help children overcome their fear of needle shots in medical laboratories. In order to achieve the aforementioned results, the following activities have taken place: 1- Two training workshops were held for the volunteers that trained them on soft skills and how to start a library in their neighborhoods 2- Two field visits were done to the volunteers’ libraries 3- The volunteers were followed up on a weekly basis and offered support through phone, emails and social media 4- A closing ceremony was held where the volunteers’ achievements were recognized and they had the opportunity to showcase their social initiatives.
A study conducted on the progress of volunteers has shown that leadership skills increased by 80% in the partipiants of this project.