KHF Outreach
Her Majesty Queen Noor Visits Economic Empowerment Initiatives in Aqaba Governorate
25th April 2011

Queen Noor Visits NHF's Tahini Factory in Quwaira
 
 
April 23, 2011 Aqaba Governorate – Her Majesty Queen Noor on Saturday visited the Noor Al Hussein Foundation's (NHF) Tahini factory in Quwaira, in the Aqaba Governorate. The Tahini income generating project was initiated by NHF's Poverty Pockets Program, and funded by the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation (MOPIC). The factory began operating in May of 2010. A model private and CBO partnership agreement between NHF and businessman Mustaf Turk, owner of a similar factory, allows the businessman to run the CBO's factory for five years while providing technical training and marketing skills to its employees and management committee.
 
In four years Mr. Turk will turn over the operation of the factory to the CBO. Profits are shared by more than 270 members of the community to contribute to their family income and generate future economic growth in the region. The factory employs 8 Jordanians and produces 3 tons of Tahini daily. It recently landed two tenders with the Civil Service Consumer Cooperation and Military Consumer establishment outlets in the region.
 
Queen Noor also visited NHF's Aqaba Micro-Business Incubator (AMBI) hosted at NHF's Community Center, which began as a vocational training center for women in 1987 and was renovated in 2008 to become a hub of activity for business entrepreneurs in the community.
 

Queen Noor meets AMBI Incubatee
 
 
At the AMBI, Queen Noor attended part of the "Start Your Business" training session, and met with some of the beneficiaries. While inside the Center she also toured the IT station and the Aqaba sewing workshop. She visited the Center's Tamweelcom branch, and stopped by the small nursery which was opened to accommodate children while their mothers are working.
 
The AMBI is open from 8am until 10pm and offers beneficiaries access to business development services, micro-finance services, and office technology. The center also conducts comprehensive business training in addition to vocational training. The AMBI started operation in October 2008, in partnership with the Aqaba Community and Economic Development (ACED) program, funded by USAID. The overall goal of the incubator is to enhance the socioeconomic development of Aqaba through the delivery of specialized business services to micro and small businesses in Aqaba city.
 
Community Development Program Manager Muhammad Al Zoubi says the distinctive aspect of the AMBI is that it provides its beneficiaries with all the services they need under one roof, saving them time and money.
 
"The concept is to provide our beneficiaries with one-stop shopping, if you will," remarked Zoubi. "Everything they need to start their own businesses is located in one place and includes everything from IT services, product development, and micro-finance services, to awareness sessions and business training workshops."
 
Since its inception in 2008, the AMBI has launched 33 awareness sessions on entrepreneurship development for more than 2,000 members of the community, and conducted 8 start-up business training cycles for 172 participants. 78% of those participants were women. Consequently, 30 entrepreneurs started their own businesses.
 
AMBI has also conducted 6 training cycles on improving existing businesses for 112 participants, 66% of those participants were women.
 
Finally Queen Noor, honorary president of SOS Children's Villages Jordan, visited the SOS Children's Village of Aqaba.
 
Her visit included meeting the children and their caretakers or 'SOS moms', accompanied by Reem Habayeb, chairperson of the Board, and Lina Mola, SOS Children's Villages Jordan director.
 
Queen Noor then dropped into the SOS Children's Villages Jordan community center where she attended a performance by the children.
 
The community center is equipped to provide educational and entertainment activities to the children. The center hosts a library with computers, a small music room, and an art room, open for the residents of the SOS village and the larger community in Aqaba.
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