Energy, passion, and excellence – celebrating Jordan’s culture of volunteerism
His Royal Highness the Crown Prince bestows the Al Hussein Bin Abdullah II Award for Voluntary Work to volunteers from the Nahno National Volunteering and Engagement Platform
Showcasing the incredible energy, passion, and excellence of Jordan’s volunteers, the first cycle of the Al Hussein bin Abdullah II Award for Voluntary Work saw winners honoured by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah II during a ceremony at the Cultural Palace.
“Today is the culmination of collective efforts by the Ministry of Youth with the Crown Prince Foundation and UNICEF,” said His Excellency the Minister of Youth Muhammad Al-Nabulsi. “Today we are proud of our young men and women who have won the awards and we look forward to the continuation of volunteer work in Jordan and hope that next year, we have an even greater number of applicants to the Award.”
Volunteers play a huge role in each community - often taking on the role of first responders in times of need. The awards, launched in December 2021 by Crown Prince Al Hussein and organized by the Ministry of Youth in partnership with the Crown Prince Foundation and UNICEF, aims to acknowledge the immense contribution of volunteers to life in Jordan and encourage more young people to sign up to Nahno, the National Volunteering and Engagement Platform.
“Volunteering helps you develop all types of skills. It helps you understand life better. And it helps you to dedicate yourself to developing your abilities.”
25-year-old Ahmad and 24-year-old Al Jaida from Karak were awarded first place in the group volunteer work category for their Universal Medicine initiative - designed by medical students for medical students to support medical research in Jordan, raise health awareness among local communities and perform charity work.
“Having your efforts recognized is a very beautiful feeling. We are so proud of ourselves and grateful for the recognition,” said Al Jaida.
From the 25,000 applications submitted, the finalists had to pass several stages in the evaluation process until they were whittled down to the top 3 in three categories – individual, group and institutions. The entries encompassed the wide array of volunteering opportunities – from the fields of social, health, educational, and training, to sports, art, culture, environment, tourism and innovation and entrepreneurship.
“At the beginning we weren’t expecting so many high-quality applications. The process was very competitive and thousands of shortlisted entries were studied in detail by experts from the Arab world. Today, we saw some very strong initiatives awarded,” said Dr. Omar Hindawi, Chairman of the Selection Jury.
“I’m proud of my team’s work and very excited that our initiative is being recognized today. Volunteering is life and through our efforts we have been able to assist students with their tuition fees, renovate schools and houses, and help children who had dropped out of school.”
Volunteers who dedicate their time, energy, abilities, and efforts to give back to their communities through the Nahno programme, are also rewarded with new skills that help build their future and new networks full of endless possibilities.
“We volunteer so we can grow,” said Aseel, a second-place winner in the group category for her project that connects designers with non-profits. “There is always something that you can do to benefit society. You just need to identify what is the thing that you have to offer. Volunteering helps you discover your purpose.”
“Volunteering provides opportunities for young people in Jordan to learn new skills and use their knowledge to benefit the community. Volunteers develop their leadership skills, and gain valuable experience from the individuals and organizations they interact with,” said Shairose Mawji, Deputy Representative, UNICEF Jordan, attending the ceremony.
Since 2018, CPF and UNICEF, through the Nahno programme with the Ministry of Youth, have supported more than 134,000 young people to build and practice new skills, to actively engage in their communities for social impact and to expand their future employability. The programme, which aims to build a strong volunteering culture in Jordan, has resulted in young people contributing close to 3.5 million hours of their time to volunteer in the public sector, private sector, civil society and in their communities.
UNICEF’s support for the Nahno programme is generously funded by the Prospects Partnership and the United States Government.