Exclusively local and refugee staff
Over the years, LWF has built strong connections with the communities, says Program Coordinator Islam Shdefat. “I have witnessed refugee children graduate from school and grow into adults. LWF has become a family to many of them," she says. "I have been invited to the weddings of Syrian children I used to play with when the Zaatari camp was first set up."
I have been invited to weddings of refugee children I played with when Zaatari camp was set up.
Islam SHDEFAT, LWF Program Coordinator in Jordan
LWF's community-based approach, implemented through its three community centers and an extensive network of civil society-based organizations, encourages learning and interaction between refugees and Jordanians. The program is run entirely by local staff. In the Peace Oasis, the Syrians decide on the activities and run the workshops. "The local staff, supported by Syrian and Jordanian community volunteers, are the program's strength," says Ameera Khamees, LWF Jordan Country Director. "They all work together to identify the needs and drive change collectively."
Another distinct feature of LWF Jordan is the high rate of female representation in senior management and staff. Female labor force participation in Jordan stands at 15 percent, and is even lower for women in decision-making positions. In LWF Jordan, however, three of the four senior management positions are currently occupied by Jordanian women, and the office has an overall 50/50 gender balance. "Besides the exceptional work in the field, LWF Jordan breaks the gender bias and challenges some of the deeply entrenched social norms by supporting and empowering female leaders," Khamees observes.
Strong support of international church partners
Throughout this decade, LWF has been fortunate to rely on a network of international church-based partners, primarily from North America and northern Europe. In addition to supporting the programs financially, the partners have engaged in strategic discussions and provided valuable input to the programmatic development. Tveoy concludes: "There would not be an LWF Jordan Program today without the support and commitment of the wider LWF Communion."
In the ten years of LWF's program in Jordan, LWF has helped over 330,000 people in need. Over that period, LWF has solidified its position in the country as a respectable humanitarian and development organization by establishing a network of partners at different levels – 8 government institutions, 25 international and national NGOs, and 40 community-based organizations.