-  Women’s Health Centre  -

In collaboration with Magen David Adom, a range of experts on women’s health will work with their Jordanian counterparts. Tag will supply equipment needed for providing women’s health services, as well as assist with the refurbishment of the centre.

This project will also contribute towards peaceful relations in the Middle East. One of the most gratifying aspects of the project is the warm interpersonal relationships that are developing as a result of the collaboration for a common purpose. These lead to healthy interaction, unfettered by political concerns. This is true peace-building, brought about indirectly in a most matter-of-fact way, through a shared commitment to making lives better for women and via trust forged during project implementation.

The Jordan Red Crescent, Magen David Adom and Tag, along with Negev Institute for Strategies of Peace and Development, began collaborating on a project at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, working with Bedouin women from villages in Southern Israel. In October 2012, the partners jointly delivered a Women’s Empowerment workshop focused on health and leadership. Further workshops are planned throughout 2013.

The Jordan Red Crescent is bringing its experience of running vocational training centres that empower 350 girls and women annually, by teaching skills and providing rights-based awareness to grant them income-generating opportunities. Tag is bringing its experience running community-based women’s health programs, while Magen David Adom has vast experience in the medical field.


Hearing first hand…

Asi Asmahan is a young, articulate Bedouin mother of six, the eldest of whom is 13. She was a participant in the Tag/Israel Magen David Adom/Jordan Red Crescent/NISPED-AJEEC Women Lead for Community Leadership in Israel’s Bedouin Community project.

Asked to describe her feelings about the project and its continuation as a series of weekly meetings for six months, during which the Bedouin women participants will receive training in First Aid, Health Promotion and also supervision and support to implement a community project of their choosing, she said: (translated from Hebrew)

“We come from a sector that is very problematic. More than 90% of the accidents that occur are household accidents, many of which cause permanent injury or scarring to our children, and they could so easily be prevented.  We need to educate the community, and people from within the community should be targeted to be trained to bring information to others.

It must be people from inside who understand our living conditions – most people lack electricity and running water; there is no sex education or family planning; little if any knowledge of basic hygiene and nutrition. It’s shocking that in 2013 you’ll find children who may be bathed only once a week and often don’t brush their teeth, and that teenagers lack any knowledge of how their bodies function, and birth control.

In our community, people store cleaning fluids in mineral water or soft drink bottles and children drink them. Women cook on the front burners of stoves when their children are nearby; hot water and dangerous kitchen items are often left within easy reach of curious children who pull things down on themselves…

The pilot workshop at Ben-Gurion University gave me self-confidence and new knowledge. I learned how to perform a needs assessment and create a work plan, which resources are available and who to turn to, and it’s only the beginning.”

If knowledge is power… then sharing knowledge can be a powerful force for change.
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