A new project for the Jordan Valley

Kreimeh Community Rehabilitation Center


As part of the work of the Holy Land Institute for the Deaf and the Jofeh Community Rehabilitation Centre, a new community rehabilitation project has begun in the Jordan Valley. The new Rehabilitation Centre will be situated in Kreimeh in the central north part of the Jordan Valley. The project was started in March this year with the target of completing the first stage in 4 months and a pre-fab building will be constructed during the first weeks of June. Total completion including all new construction should be executed in 2-3 years depending on available funding.

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As part of a community outreach program run by HLID, it will be a Centre for the “Rehabilitation, Special and Inclusive Education, Vocational Training and Employment of Persons with Disabilities”. It aims to enable the hard of hearing and Deaf, physically challenged, low vision and intellectually impaired to participate meaningfully in family and community life and to make their unique and valuable contributions to an inclusive society.


Activities at the Centre will include vocational training (sewing, embroidery, mosaics and other skills). There will be education programmes dealing with gender issues, women’s health and the environment as well as clinics for audio and neo-natal screening. Alongside vocational skills, it provides access to employment opportunities, both in local businesses as well as in the centre.


Micah Project: ( http://www.micah6-8.org.uk/micah-projects/jordan/ )
Jofeh Community Rehabilitation Center “Beit Saleem”, Jofeh, Jordan

An outreach project of the The Holy Land Institute for the Deaf, Salt (www.allah-kariem.org) which is headed up by the wonderful Brother Andrew de Carpentier, the Jofeh Community Rehabilitation Center “Beit Saleem” is a centre providing development services for disadvantaged people in the area of Jofeh, just north of the Dead Sea and close to the traditional baptismal site of Jesus. Managed by a very good friend Yousef Rizik, the centre does this through the training of local people in issues of disability awareness through practical engagement, as well as offering programmes and workshops designed to help disabled children, young people and adults in their own development. Disabilities include visual, hearing, physical & mobility, as well as those with learning difficulties. The aim of the work is to better help them to incorporate into the society around them and to contribute as productive and self-reliant individuals.

As well as a small school with some incredible needs, at the heart of the Centre are the Vocational training workshops which offer Sewing, Embroidery, Weaving, Paper recycling, Woodwork and Computer training as well as Teaching English language and Sign language.

Reema is a 24 year old woman who lives in Jofeh, a small village in the heart of the Jordan valley. She has several learning difficulties and disabilities including a severe hearing impediment. The Jofeh centre provides her with the opportunity to learn skills in sewing and embroidery enabling her to earn pocket money and mix socially with other women in a similar position to her. The development of her self-worth and independence would not have been possible without this opportunity.

Nothing stands still in Jordan! A new centre at Kremieh is now being developed by Yousef, using the Jofeh centre as a model. It is the hope of Brother Andrew to have a series of centres along the Jordan Valley all supporting the deaf and disabled of the region, and being a Christian witness of healing and hope.

Micah Target for 2013:
To raise £1000.00 for the new outreach centre at Kremieh, which will be another pilot project from the work at The Holy Land Institute for the Deaf, Salt. This is a brand new work that Yousef is managing alongside the work in Jofeh, and the centre needs lots of resources as it develops its work to support the disabled and deaf communities in that region of the Jordan Valley.

Will you and your friends help to raise money towards this very practical target? Click below for fundraising ideas

Fundraising Ideas (PDF)

Accumulator: £500.00 so far! The 2012 target was achieved due to the generosity of Central Methodist Church, Chesterfield, one of the wonderful Cliff College students, Mr Will Nightingale, as well as other Micah Supporters. The money was sent via the UK agency Allah Kariem in January 2012.  Thanks to everyone who contributed in 2012. Let’s match this in 2013!

Micah Project Advocate:
Travelling with Ian to Jordan will give you an opportunity to visit the Holy Land Institute for the Deaf, Jofeh and Kremieh centres, meet the volunteers, join in with some of the work in the workshops, stay in Jofeh village and maybe even sleep on the roof, visit the traditional baptism site, and float in the Dead Sea. You come back with the task of spreading the word about this wonderful work – and helping achieve a higher target for the next year!

The Jofeh Center: Faith in Action (Part 1)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011 by Sherrye Henry

Recently, I had a wonderful opportunity to see faith in action – healing the sick and welcoming the stranger – at the Jofeh Community Rehabilitation Center (or "Beit Saleem") in the South Shuneh area of the Jordan Valley, Jordan

This inspiring program, supported by Episcopal Relief & Development in partnership with the Diocese of Jerusalem, helped me understand more deeply the essence of our mission to help vulnerable people better their own lives.

The Center serves 13 villages in the South Shuneh region. In this area, disabilities are often stigmatized. When interpreted as evidence of a wrong committed by a family member, a child’s disability can be a source of great shame. For the sake of the family’s reputation and the marriageability of his or her siblings, such children are many times hidden away, unacknowledged, and denied access to the education and medical care that would improve their ability to function in a modern world. 

Yousef RisikIn fact, Yousef Rizik, a Jordanian Christian and retired hotel manager who took on the administration of the Center as an extension of his faith, says the hardest part of helping these children is getting them into the building.  When marketing and community education failed to overcome the stigma attached to disability enough that parents would bring their children to the Center, he decided to take more direct action.  Now, he sends out two buses daily to pick up some 75 children and physically bring them back where trained volunteers are ready to help them. 

Help can mean any number of things, as Yousef showed me. A wheelchair, which can go home with a child who would otherwise lack mobility; standing devices, so a child can remain upright and within reach of blackboards and painting easels; or hearing aids and eyeglasses, for which no money may be available at home.  Physical aids are just the first step, though.  After being kept at home for so long, these children and young adults need to develop the confidence and self-esteem that will allow them to operate on their own, regardless of their disability.

Sherrye Henry is a Major Gift Officer with Episcopal Relief & Development.

Photo: Yousef Rizik (left), director of the Jofeh Center, shares about the organization's work with Sherrye.


The Jofeh Center: Faith in Action (Part 2)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011 by Sherrye Henry

Manwa recycling paperOne young woman, Manwa, is a shining example of how the Jofeh Community Rehabilitation Center is empowering women, men and children and transforming lives. Like many mentally challenged children in this area, Manwa was kept at home for the first 15 years of her life.  Though she refused to speak and repeatedly tried to escape when first brought to the Center, she slowly grew into the caring community around her.  She was allowed to choose whatever work she preferred, on her own timetable; first it was woodworking, then embroidery.  Then she became so proficient at a paper recycling technique that she now trains other children at the Center.  Not only is Manwa invested and productive, she also earns her own pocket money, which she takes home with her.

That pocket money means a lot to these young workers. A young man I met is partially paralyzed, with the use of only one arm and one leg.  He receives money for his embroidery work, accomplished by holding the frame with his good leg and sewing with his functioning hand.  The volunteers who train the children also go home with pocket money for their work, in addition to small sums they earn by cleaning the building and doing embroidery work at home. 

The Center is able to operate on a lean budget, thanks to the volunteer help it receives and because it buys only what it needs and can use.  A young woman in the sewing room was working on a used industrial sewing machine that cost $300, instead of the $700 it would have cost if purchased new.  Yousef needs another machine just like that one, as it would greatly increase the Center’s output – much of which is sold to the public through a local hotel chain.  Profits are shared equally between the Center and its productive workers, who benefit in a number of ways: they not only gain dinars (the local currency), but also opportunities to excel.

This is a joyful place — faces all around attest to that, as does Manwa’s unshakable determination to be here.  Her father remains ambivalent about the Center, occasionally refusing to let her board the bus.  On those days, she simply marches out the door on her own, back to the Jofeh Center and her new life.

Sherrye Henry is a Major Gift Officer with Episcopal Relief & Development.

Photo: Manwa (right) demonstrates to Sherrye her paper recycling technique. The Jofeh Center's programs empower disabled young people with skills that are also creating economic opportunities.

Visit of the Archbishop of Canterbury

On Saturday 20th February 2010, the Jofeh Center was pleased to welcome His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury; Rowan Williams.  

Below is a short report from that visit, along with the official press release of the event.

Report of the Visit

On Saturday, Feb. 20, 2010 The Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, The Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem Suheil Dawani and Bishop Michael Jackson of Clogher (Bishop of The Church of Ireland & the Anglican chair to the Anglican Jewish Commission), visited the impressive Jofeh Community Rehabilitation Centre, which is run by the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem and situated in the Jordan Valley.  “The center is a center of excellence in the Kingdom providing a range of services to children with a variety of disabilities,” the Lambeth Palace Press release said.  “The vast majority come from Muslim families.  Many are either deaf, visually impaired, or blind and some suffer from multiple disabilities.  Training and skills development in a range of crafts and specialized skills is provided to a very high standard and the children’s work is sold commercially.”

Press Release

Archbishop in Jordan

Monday 22 February 2010

On Saturday the Archbishop visited the impressive Jofeh Community Rehabilitation Center, which is run by the Diocese of Jerusalem and situated in the Jordan Valley.  The centre is a center of excellence in the Kingdom, providing a range of services to children with a variety of disabilities.  The vast majority come from Muslim families.  Many are either deaf, visually impaired, or blind and some from multiple disabilities.  Training and skill development, in a range of crafts and specialized skills, is provided to a very high standard and the children’s work is sold commercially.

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For the Archbishops full article on the his visit to the Holy Land please click here: