After four years of providing activities to help families who have children with disabilities, a special education teacher from the area said, “You have done so much to help our community. Now it’s our turn.” He organized the parents who we had been serving, to register a community centre. This is a place where children with disabilities can grow through activities for their social, cognitive and physical development.
After the registration for the centre was completed, the family members contributed money to rent a simple building with 3 rooms. This is what they could afford. It was quite run down. They received donations of used furniture, but a lot work needed to be done to make the place usable. As the months passed, the enthusiasm for the centre began to wane. The leaders of the centre approached Operation Mercy for money. When we met with them, we told them: “While we don’t have funding for this, maybe we can help you find someone who does.”
Soon afterward, we applied for a 10,000 USD grant from the US Embassy, which was giving grants for projects benefiting those with disabilities. The proposal was approved! Even though the money came from outside of the community, we encouraged local ownership by delegating members of the community centre to volunteer their time and to completely manage the renovations according the project plan. Being that this is rural Jordan, and this took place in winter, things moved slowly. It took 4 months to complete. The excitement steadily returned as word spread and families could see the progress taking place.
Samir is a boy that Operation Mercy’s disability team has been assisting. He is 12 years old with cerebral palsy. He receives therapy and his mother is being coached in providing physical and cognitive activities for her son. During the months of renovating the centre, she continually volunteered for whatever help was needed to finish the work. She is now eager to bring her son to the centre for activities each week because he is at home all day and not in school. She said to us: “For many years this has been a dream of mine. And now it is happening! It is because God loves us that he sent you to us. He is showing us his love through you.”