“Imagine our project in five years. What do you think it will look like then?”
This was the challenge given by our Operation Mercy team to the five Jordanian volunteers at the end of summer in 2021. The five Jordanian volunteers had been working at the community center with the Community Based Rehabilitation project (CBR).
Each woman closed her eyes and took a moment to consider the question. A few spoke up:
“I imagine our center being located in a new building with some of our children playing together in the sand outside.”
“I imagine Karam* in grade four wearing her school uniform and being happy, laughing, and learning well.”
“I imagine Muhammed* in the public schools, thriving in grade five and connecting well with the other children in his grade.” (Mohammed is a boy with Down Syndrome who recently started to attend the public schools)
The discussion continued. A common theme centered around the future of the younger girls in the community. They talked about a day when a parent could meet with the principal and hear how well their daughter was progressing and how clever she was.
Where could these dreams have come from? We believe we can attribute some of it to the community center and to the intensive training offered during the break between semesters. We have seen significant growth in the skills and confidence of those who have taken part in the training.
When each of five Jordanian volunteers had finished this training, the timing seemed right to ask them about their dreams for the future. We were moved not only by their dreams but also that they even dared to dream them.
And none of the dreams they mentioned are impossible. But they were also realistic enough to know that challenges were ahead. One volunteer noted that the challenges are much like a person trying to push a boulder up a hill. But, she wasn’t willing to let the challenges crush her dreams! She encouraged all of us by saying: “A person who wants to do something difficult and it is heavy and it might be hard to do, but he is determined to do it and has the will to do it and if we work together, we can push the boulder up the mountain.”