Ameera Naguib and I currently intern for Dr. Nadia Al-Alawi, Co-Founder of a business consulting company called WeekdayRx. They are based in Seattle, USA, with an office for humanitarian projects in Amman. One of Dr. Al-Alawi’s projects has been to bring the Girl Scouts of America to the refugee girls of Jordan.
Dr. Al-Alawi started the Girl Scouts Project in January 2014 with two girls studying abroad in Jordan and they worked in the Zaatari Refugee Camp until May. When Ameera and I began our internships, it was decided that troops in East Amman would be easier and more accessible for now. After a couple weeks of training and planning, we finally started two Girl Scout Troops in a refugee-heavy neighborhood in Amman. Through Collateral Repair Project, we are troop leaders for a Junior (aged 9-10) and a Cadette Troop (aged 11-13), each with more than 10 girls. Despite having only two meetings so far, a lot has been accomplished.
The girls spent the first meeting getting to know each other and planning the badges they want to earn throughout the year. By the end of the semester, the girls will gain experience in a range of skills from first aid to cooking to gardening. The goal of Girl Scouts is to give girls skills in leadership, friendship, and financial literacy. We hope to incorporate those goals into a club for refugee girls that can both empower them and help them in social and psychological development after being exposed to trauma.
Ameera and I are currently working to expand our project up north to Zaatari Camp and a small town called Mafraq. There were obstacles involved in the previous attempt to run the camps in the north of Jordan, and we have been researching and meeting with locals and experts to figure out how to make this a safe, accessible, and sustainable set of troops throughout Jordan. Our goal isn’t to set up meetings for the girls before we leave, but rather to create all the resources for the future of the troops. We want to see this project grow to its fullest potential and hope that we can get as much done as possible in the short amount of time that we have here.