Meet the NEX-LABS partner in Jordan: the Jordanian Hashemite Fund for Human Development promoting rights-based sustainable human development

Image courtesy: JOHUD

Raghda Qasem Deputy Director for programs and projects at the Jordanian Hashemite Fund for Human Development (JOHUD) /Princess Basma Community Development Centre Aqaba will introduce you her organization and its activities dedicated to promoting rights-based sustainable human development in Aqaba governorate.

Raghda, tell us more about your organization

The Jordanian Hashemite Fund for Human Development/Princess Basma Community Development Centre Aqaba (JOHUD/Aqaba) is a non-profit, non-governmental organization Established in 1990, JOHUD is dedicated to promoting rights-based sustainable human development in Aqaba governorate. JOHUD/ AQABA reaches out through a network of 7 community development centers to help people in underserved, poor, and remote communities. Located in both rural and urban areas, the community centers provide a focal point for a wide range of groups to work together to promote sustainable development that meets the needs of the whole community. JOHUD works in close partnership with the Government of Jordan, international and national development agencies, providing an extensive range of social development services both at national and community levels.

We place people at the center of the development process, and encourage them to play a leading role in defining and pursuing their own development needs. In particular, we work with the more vulnerable groups such as women, youth, the elderly, children and the disabled, because through targeted support, their interests and needs may be better met.

With more than 30 years of experience, JOHUD continues to create opportunities for the diverse range of communities in the Kingdom to play a central role in shaping their development needs and their country’s future.

We create impact in different sectors such as:

  • Economic Empowerment
  • Women’s Rights and Advocacy
  • Political Participation
  • Youth Civic Engagement
  • Creative ICT for Development
  • Early Childhood Development and Disability
  • Sustainable Livelihoods
  • Good Governance and Local Development
  • Health and Well Being

What is your role in your organization?

I am currently the Director of IPCO at iPARK and  deputy director for programs and projects 

What is your background and which specific perspective(s) does that background contribute to NEX-LABS?

During my twenty years of work at the Jordan Red Crescent in Aqaba and at the Princess Basma Center JOHUD, I was able to work with marginalized and poor communities, help and motivate them to overcome their difficult circumstances.

During my work, I acquired multiple skills such as strategic planning, writing projects, fund raising, and the ability to motivate the community, Project management, program implementation, training on several skills, and was able to work on transferring knowledge to the local community, especially the women sector, improving their access to resources and their rights, and supporting their participation in the community.

Also focusing on economic empowerment and how to develop businesses scoter for youth and women and support their start up in projects and small  businesses whether its from home or in the market. 

What is your role in the NEX-LABS project, what are you currently working on?

We provide the appropriate information to the partners about economic growth in Jordan and the sectors targeted by the project. We promote the project, mobilize the target group and facilitate their access to the project's services.

What are your expectations in the NEX-LABS project? What do you think will have major impact for the Mediterranean community?

I believe that the project will contribute to providing solutions to the problems of water, food and energy and will encourage innovation in these areas 

What are your interests outside the project and your work? 

I graduated from the University of Jordan, majoring in Arabic language and literature, because it was my passion. Learning the Arabic language proficiently has helped me enter the local communities, find appropriate means of communication with them, and express their needs accurately. I went through travel experiences to several countries with training programs, and I was able to learn from peoples and cultures, transfer the experience to my region, and help communities make positive change and push them towards it.

I believe that a person should follow his passion and believe in his abilities and start from himself to make change and this is what I put in every person I met and I have succeeded in helping many and I am proud of my work with local communities and I hope to be able to help as many people as possible

I was chosen in 2019 as an inspirational woman in Aqaba and was hosted in more than one meeting to talk about my experience and encourage girls and women.