- By Caroline Boas, marketing & communications intern at Global Platform in Jordan.
It is Friday morning and the sun is shining over Russaifah. In the community center a number of local youths start to show up and prepare for a three weeks course in Leadership Development. Amongst them are two girls, Diala and Tala. They are no strangers to Global Platform’s trainings, having previously participated in various classes whilst also being active members in ActionAid’s Activista movement. It is their first training in Russaifah though, since they normally attend trainings in their hometown of Zarqaa. They are sharing this experience together like they have shared many others throughout their life, as Diala and Tala are sisters.
Being brought up in what they themselves described as a “nice and free” household, the two sisters have for a number of years been interested and involved in events and activities evolving around social change in society.
With the help of Global Platform Jordan’s presence, activities and trainings, they have been able to realize these ambitions. They do however also highlight the importance of the support their family has given them. Their parents always told them that they could do whatever they wanted and therefore they felt they had the liberty to choose to be active towards creating a change and not to be limited to a certain way of life.
The sister’s participation in the trainings is a productive supplement to their studies and work. They are thankful that they can seek and gain further information about themselves, their peers and society in general, as this is not the case for many of their friends. Marriage and children has limited some of the Diala and Tala’s friends, where a further education or having a job is not a possibility. This saddens the sisters, as they believe it is a loss for society’s development that only few women can participate in creating a change.
“Having a husband and a family of your own should only be an advantage, not a limitation in wanting to see the world get better” - says Tala. Therefore, she and her sister do want to get married and have children of their own one day, but not just yet. When the time does come they hope to provide their children with the same upbringing as they themselves had. This they greatly reason with them having the freedom to make and do what you want, but also that they have a support in each other, their parents and the rest of the family. “You can’t change the world by yourself, but together everything is possible” - says Diana and underlines the importance of having a network to rely on and to work together with.
On this Friday morning in Rusaifah the two sisters are taking small steps towards creating a social change through improving their leadership developments. Whether Diala and Tala one day will be leaders themselves is for the future to decide, but what they know today is that they would not be this active and involved without the encouragement and support from each other and their parents. Change truly runs in the family.
ActionAid Arab regional Initiative aims to empower youth and women to be the leaders of change in their society. Through the six established community centers in Lebanon and Jordan ActionAid ARI aims to harness the leadership of youth as agents of change for the future and to strengthen the social cohesion in the local community.