Amman- The United Nations Development Programme in partnership with the Jordan Health Aid Society-International launched a project to support community entrepreneurial ventures aiming at countering the effects of COVID19, while encouraging volunteerism and community service.
The Enhancing Community Resilience by Improving Health Practices is part of UNDP’s Heart of Amman Initiative which is actively providing support to projects with a direct positive impact on the heart of the capital, home to half the population of Jordan.
This new project comes as a direct response to the economic effects of the measures executed by the government to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It will increase the resilience of vulnerable communities, with a special focus on unemployed women and youth, in Amman to cope with COVID-19 issues through volunteerism.
During phase one of this project, UNDP and JHASi will support local innovators and entrepreneurs with promising ideas related to solving post COVID-19 challenges. JHASi will guide selected participants in transforming their business ideas into successful startups. This will encourage community engagement, short-term income, capacity building, and market accessibility for vulnerable youth and women.
Fifty volunteers, 30 percent of whom will be Syrian, will participate in five weeks of service activities addressing COVID-19 prevention within their communities. Volunteers will execute different weekly activities in rotating groups. The community activities will serve as a guide to the market tool for the volunteer’s business startups through identifying market gaps within the health sector and networking with business owners.
Dr. Yaroup Ajlouni, founder and CEO of JHASi said: “According to JHASi values, we intend to build resilience amongst women and youth through volunteer and community engagement activities in the health sector. Volunteers will provide general health awareness and promote hygiene practices to their communities to cope with COVID-19.”
“This project will provide economic opportunities for unemployed women and youth by promoting innovative entrepreneurship in the health sector. JHASi aims to create a healthier city while reducing the negative impacts of COVID-19 on the Jordanian economy,” he added.
The participants will engage in a myriad of community service activities directly related to public healthcare awareness such as the distribution of health awareness material for patients waiting in public hospitals or public spaces in East Amman and Downtown.
JHASi will also involve participants in the “Queue Culture” Campaign: The Waiting Line as a Social System where volunteers will paint lines or place stickers for line control in front of banks, souks, and bakeries. They will also distribute personal hygiene product samples and protective equipment for local communities and train residents on how to use these materials effectively.
After completing phase one, volunteers will participate in a digital or in-person training session by business professionals on how to create a business model. JHASi will select an estimated 20 participants (10 females, 10 male) to establish their startups in Phase 2.
Ultimately, this effort will create work opportunities for unemployed youth, women, and Syrian refugees in Amman and decrease the COVID-19 negative effects on local businesses.