Friends of Jordan is my favorite non-profit to support. The organization makes microgrants that have a huge impact on the Arab communities they support. I was the recipient of an FOJ grant myself and it made a great difference in my ability to fund the projects I was working on, including a health and fitness camp and a leadership training for Jordanian youth.
As a board member for the past two years, I am impressed by how hard the board works to make this small non-profit shine. The major work of this group is giving small grants to volunteers serving in Jordan. The board raises funds by small incremental amounts, takes a lot of time making the existence of funds known to volunteers, coordinating the reviews given to applicants, providing feed back on how the funded projects roll out.
One of the recent projects had a major impact in the life of Jordanians served by turning pre-shcool children and parents on to the power of reading. Children are reading books in English and Arabic, and a library has been established with great success.
Funds are carefully and openly managed. This is a great model!
Friends of Jordan allows volunteers to realize their small project dreams. Some of the most effective and inspiring work I did in the Peace Corps was able to come to fruition through Friend's of Jordan's Small Grants program. FOJ volunteers are responsive, supportive, and always provided encouraging and thought provoking feedback post-project. In addition, FOJ provides ongoing support to volunteers through events and job postings.
FOJ provides a valuable resource to Peace Corps Volunteers in Jordan. By offering grants of a nominal size, FOJ is empowers volunteers to have a meaningful impact in their communities in ways that don't merit larger grants offered through the Peace Corps headquarters, but nevertheless drive change.
Friends of Jordan (FOJ) is an outstanding, fully volunteer run non-profit that strives to meet the needs of current and former Peace Corps Jordan volunteers, and anyone interested in enhancing cross-cultural understanding and communication between the United States and Jordan. Through the FOJ Small Grants Program, volunteers make meaningful and important changes in their host communities. After volunteers return, FOJ serves as a community network to bring Jordan-focused individuals together to stay informed on important topics affecting Jordan, as well as enabling them to continue to support their former communities and current volunteers.
The focus and scope of FOJ is uniquely relevant to balancing Americans' perception of Arab culture and the Moslem world. At the same time, it also fills a role in the perception of Americans by Arabs and Moslems. Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, who make up the majority of FOJ's membership, have usually lived for an extended time deeply immersed in the smaller towns and villages of Jordan, experiencing daily life, often family life among the Bedouin and Palestinian residents.
RPCVs did not all have the same experience; in fact, not all were positive. But, unlike 99.9% of Americans, they at least had an experience that puts them in a position to educate and enlighten their neighbors. At the same time, they have established relationships with "the Arab street" and continue to do with their outreach efforts here in America.
Friends of Jordan is a wonderful organization and truly strives to enhance cross cultural relationships between the United States and Jordan. Through a small grants program, the organization has a broad reach to rural communities all over Jordan through Peace Corps volunteers. In the US, Friends of Jordan members network, share experiences, and participate in social events throughout the year.
Friends of Jordan is a fantastic organization with an incredible mission. Their small grants make a real impact in rural communities all over Jordan. By supporting Peace Corps Volunteers in their own initiatives, Friend of Jordan helps them be more effective and dynamic in their communities.
There is also a good focus on community back in the States with outreach events.
The Friends of Jordan Association is a network of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, current or former Peace Corps staff, and other persons who share a common interest in Jordan. Friends of Jordan supports Peace Corps’ Third Goal, maintains supportive connections with Jordan, improves members’ professional development, and assists with newly returning Peace Corps Volunteers.
Friends of Jordan's goals are to:
-Encourage charitable and educational activities relating to the Third Goal of Peace Corps–to promote a better understanding of Jordanians on the part of Americans;
-Provide a forum within the US and abroad for charitable activities, professional development, networking, and exchange of knowledge among persons and organizations with a common interest in Jordan;
-Support projects of the Peace Corps and charitable private organizations in Jordan;
-Assist Peace Corps Volunteers returning from Jordan to reconnect with their communities and cultures in the US; and
-Help Peace Corps Volunteers returned from Jordan to continue with public service and related activities similar to those they performed during their Peace Corps service.