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Jordan River Foundation

Jordan River Foundation: Bani Hamida

Jordan River Foundation

About Bani Hamida

About Jordan River FoundationThe visit to Bani Hamida Women Weaving project is an unforgettable experience. The center itself is located in beautiful one story level home that has a historical feel to it and is surrounded by spacious outdoor space and garden. Upon visiting the center, visitors are welcomed by the women weavers who are eager to show them their beautiful wool products, share their stories with them and provide them with the opportunity to have a hands on experience in using the weaving machines and possible take part in weaving their own carpet or basket they may want to purchase. The visitor can also purchase these unique products on site. The rugs made in the center showcase traditional Jordanian heritage with a modern twist. An opportunity to eat and drink tasty homemade local food cooked by the local women of the area is also available and can be prepared for the visit.

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Kinds of Experiences

The Bani Hamida Women’s Weaving Project has successfully employed over 57 full time workers from 13 villages. Over 1650 women benefitted from the project and over 5.1 million JD s has been paid to women working on the products. The Handicrafts program of Jordan River aims to provide employment opportunities for vulnerable women while developing their knowledge and skills in handicraft/artisans production and entrepreneurship space. The women artisans are the driving force behind JRF’s products and design inspiration.

Key social impact of the Bani Hamida Project include the following:

  • Protect and save local heritage and tradition in weaving carpets and transfer knowledge to younger generations
  • It addresses the mobility and cultural/social barriers for women participation in the labor force, building a network of women working either at one of the centers or from home;
  • It compensates women more than the minimum wage resulting into low turnover rates;
  • It builds the capacity of women on the various needed skills and techniques; and
  • It empowers women by allowing them to work and to build a career track record such as becoming trainers and conduct trainings locally and regionally in the handicrafts space.
Jordan River Foundation: Kinds of Experiences

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Social Impact

The Bani Hamida Women’s Weaving Project has successfully employed over 57 full time workers from 13 villages. Over 1650 women benefitted from the project and over 5.1 million JD s has been paid to women working on the products. The Handicrafts program of Jordan River aims to provide employment opportunities for vulnerable women while developing their knowledge and skills in handicraft/artisans production and entrepreneurship space. The women artisans are the driving force behind JRF’s products and design inspiration.

Key social impact of the Bani Hamida Project include the following:

  • Protect and save local heritage and tradition in weaving carpets and transfer knowledge to younger generations
  • It addresses the mobility and cultural/social barriers for women participation in the labor force, building a network of women working either at one of the centers or from home;
  • It compensates women more than the minimum wage resulting into low turnover rates;
  • It builds the capacity of women on the various needed skills and techniques; and
  • It empowers women by allowing them to work and to build a career track record such as becoming trainers and conduct trainings locally and regionally in the handicrafts space.

Success Stories

Halima Al Qa’aydeh is a woman from Bani Hamida who works with the weaving project. She is credited with introducing quality control by using a marked stick to size the weaving of the rugs. Living in the poverty pocket of Bani Hamida with minimal resources and services and low social status for women Halima started as a rug weaver and now is the project manager. As the first woman in her village to get a driver’s license she now drives from between the center and the weavers’ homes in her white pickup truck to discuss the latest orders, designs, and color schemes.

Halima was able to grow her career with Bani Hamida and influence other women to pursue employment opportunities through carpet weaving. While challenges remain, Halima has become a leader in her community. A few years ago Halima was the first woman in her village to run for municipal office- which she won. She became one of the six women who were national elected to local councils in municipal elections. Today Halima serves as a role model to many young women in the Bani Hamida , Makawar community.

The Dream Weaver

Meeting Halima, a Bani Hamida beneficiary, you realize you are in the presence of greatness. Halima forged her way into financial independence not only as a skilled artisan, but as a unique entrepreneur and social figure, who was elected as the first female member of Mukawir’s Municipal Council.

The eldest daughter of 12 children, Halima’s childhood was spent with her nomadic family herded sheep and goats. Eventually, the family built a small on house on Bani Hamida Mountain so that the children could attend school. Unfortunately for Halima, there were no facilities in the village to complete her secondary education and her family did not have the money to send her elsewhere. When the Bani Hamida Women’s Weaving Project was established, she volunteered to work with the support of her father. Eventually, she was employed as a wool washing supervisor, and Halima’s steady income allowed her to educate herself and her siblings.

As Bani Hamida manager for over a decade, Halima has represented the project in Egypt, Morocco, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Finland and United States. One of only six women recently elected in Jordan to local administrative councils, Halima has come a long way in her personal development and as a role model in the community that previously shunned the idea of women working to support their families.

“I started my career with this project. This was very important for me no just from an economic perspective, but also personally. As a result, when I became engaged I made it clear to my fiancé that I would continue working even after marriage. Now every girl in Bani Hamida sees me as a role model, and families understand and accept the benefits of women’s financial and social contributions.”

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