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Religion and Society

Christians and Muslims helping the disabled together

Our Lady of Peace Center for People with Special Needs in Amman

 

 

Majdi Dayyat

 

Chairman of Central Committee of Our Lady of Peace Centre

 

 

"Jordanians shall be equal before the law. There shall be no discrimination between them as regards to their rights and duties on grounds of race, language or religion," (The Constitution of The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Chapter II Article 6.i).

 

This article embodies what drives the Latin Patriarchate in its desire to realize its vision. In order to remain faithful and focused on its mission, the Patriarchate has provided educational and social services as well as medical and humanitarian assistance to Christians and Moslems alike. It has run schools across the country as far back as Ottoman times. It opened its first hospital in the 1930s and over the years has extended its charitable services, schools, homes for the elderly and other structures through organizations like Caritas and the Saint Joseph Center, centering its actions on helping the sick, orphans and the underprivileged. And still there is much more it must do reached to live up to what it can do.

 

The Our Lady of Peace Center for People with Special Needs is the Patriarchate's latest contribution. Based in Kharibet Al Souq, the Center was created for the purpose of helping people living with disabilities as well as spreading its national, humanitarian and spiritual message to thousands of disadvantaged people.

 

OLPC's Vision

 

The Center's vision is to serve the underprivileged and the disabled irrespective of political or social considerations, so as to strengthen the spirit of charity and generosity on which our national identity and sense of humanitarian fellowship are based. This way our fellow citizens can take their own fate in their own hands and not rely exclusively on what the government and public institutions can offer. Hence Jordanians will be able to take on greater responsibility towards those who are less fortunate and show more empathy for the disabled and their families, helping them take care of their children, and making sure that they can lead a decent life in which their civil, social, educational, parental and health rights are protected and their needs met.

 

 

Message and Objectives

 

 

The Center's humanitarian, national and spiritual message goes out to everyone without distinctions. It entails:

 

1. providing free services to people with special needs thanks to God's blessings and bounty as well as the contributions from people from within the kingdom and around the world; in principle, the Center does not provide any financial assistance;

 

2. establishing branches and committees with Muslim and Christian members to offer services to a wider spectrum of people living with disabilities in the kingdom;

 

3. teaching people the value of living together on shared humanitarian, national and religious grounds, and serve willingly those in need since all good citizens, Christians and Moslems, are loyal to their country and to humanity, believers in one God, creator of all;

 

4. working progressively through its committees and centers to end dependency and passivity, educating people to assume their individual and collective responsibilities vis-à-vis the underprivileged while respecting their dignity and rights as well as facilitating their integration into society;

 

5. developing a relationship and making every possible effort to work with the Ministry of Social Development and other related ministries as well as with private and governmental institutions that are responsible for the welfare of people with disabilities.

 

 

Services:

 

 

In Amman the Center offers the following free services:

 

1. educational and counseling courses to raise awareness and train people to exercise greater autonomy (including computer literacy classes) as well as weekly therapy sessions that address difficult cases, autism and interpersonal relation;

 

2. physiotherapy and occupational therapy;

 

3. at-home visit program;

 

4. eye, dental and general medical care;

 

5. vocational training.

 

 

The Committees:

 

 

Committees have been set up throughout the kingdom with Christian and Muslim members for the purpose of raising awareness among ordinary Jordanians with regards to the rights of people living with disabilities, such as the right to a decent life, respect and dignity, as well the duty they have towards the disabled, including the need to respect, accept and provide them with necessary services.

 

The Center welcomes anyone, without exception, who wants to join a local committee to perform this noble task, especially people with special needs and their families since it is they who know the problem first hand and can best be part of the solution. Training is available for volunteers to help them deal with a variety of organizational, leadership, communication, planning and management issues.

 

In cooperation with many government agencies and universities, local committees have developed several educational programs, including courses and seminars on how to organize and train, as well as medical and rehabilitation programs in cooperation with private sector physicians, the Directorate of the Royal Medical Services and the Royal Jordanian Land Force. They also provided hearing aids to the hearing impaired as well as carry out charity work in Jordan's more disadvantaged areas.

 

 

Funding the Center and its Branches

 

 

Funding is an activity with important organizational, humanitarian and spiritual implications. Fund-raising by the Center's staff is a permanent job and every modern technique is used.

 

Evidently, the center is not a business and so relies on God's blessings and bounty as well as people's generosity, whether they are Christian or Muslim, rich or poor. The people of the Center have absolute trust in God and that He will enable the Center to continue to freely help the underprivileged.

 

Members of the Center's staff are conscious of the need to raise awareness in society about the importance of people with disabilities, about the need to preserve their dignity and protect their rights, on the importance of identifying with them and serving them with patience and love. Thus true love goes to those people with special needs regardless of their religion, ethnicity or nationality. This is the principle by which Our Lady of Peace pursues its objectives.

 

We call on God that He may lead the people of Jordan to lend their support to the Center and enable it to raise awareness and spread its humanitarian message in favor of free national service for the disabled.

 

 

Please, send your donations to the following bank account

 

Jordan National Bank - Sweifieh Branch

 

Account No. 102349

 

Our Lady of Peace Center for People with Special Needs

 

 

Our Lady of Peace Center for People with Special Needs

 

Latin Vicariate - Jordan

 

P. O. Box: 851379 Amman 11185

 

Phone (Central Committee): + 962 6 5931162 Fax + 962 6 5920548

 

Phone (Center): + 962 6 4291990 Fax: + 962 6 4291992

 

http://www.ourladyofpeacecentre.org

 

info@ourladyofpeacecentre.org

 

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