“Draw a Smile”: Charity Bazaar Garners Community Support in Aqaba
Aqaba charity bazaar initiative brings community participation and civic engagement in Southern Jordan, as part of Save the Children`s led Early Childhood Education regional working groups in cooperation with the Ministry of Education.
The working groups aim to increase the number of kindergartens in Jordan through sustainable community participation.
This program is part of the Education Reform Support Program (ERSP), funded by USAID in partnership with Creative Associates International and the Ministry of Education which aims at developing public kindergartens on a national level throughout the Kingdom. The objective of the program is to prioritize high quality kindergartens and emphasize on enhancing and improving the educational environment and facilities as well as building the capacity of early childhood education cadres within the Ministry of Education.
The working groups were established to build partnerships with public and private sectors, including civil society actors, universities and companies to support the efforts of increasing the number of public kindergarten programs in Jordan.
In Aqaba, Save the Children along with supporters from local community establishments held a two day charity bazaar called “Draw a Smile” in June 2013 to raise funds that are directly channeled to the southern district of Al Qwairah that lacks quality kindergartens.
The bazaar was hosted by the Double Tree Hilton Hotel in Aqaba, with nearly 300 guests attending along with children from Al Qwairah who did not have the opportunity to enroll in a kindergarten.
At the bazaar, children enjoyed activities such as jumping castle, arts and crafts, face painting, puppet show and fun games while mothers from Aqaba were given the chance to sell their handmade products.
“Advocating and planning for early childhood education is planning for the future, and having the community support is an integral component of succeeding in our efforts. The Bazaar is another example of how we can build the momentum to ensure access to quality early childhood education for the children in Jordan,” said Muna Abbas, Early Childhood Education Component Leader/ ERSP.
Along with the Double Tree Hilton Hotel in Aqaba, Draw a Smile bazaar was also sponsored by AYLA Aviation Academy, and Kafa’a Association a local organization partnered on the event.
Early Childhood Education component is part of the ERSP, which prepares Jordanian students for the knowledge economy by increasing quality of public kindergartens, improving classroom instruction for all grades, and helping youth plan their careers and build entrepreneurship skills. ERSP is implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Education and aligns with HM King Abdullah’s vision for public education in Jordan, called the Education Reform for a Knowledge Economy.