By Giulia Maccagli – Aug 13,2015

AMMAN — Starting with children in Jerash, volunteers with a development centre are working to spread the culture of recycling in Jordan.

“If only one of the 30 kids who take part in our workshop, once at home, asks his parents to start recycling their waste, teaching them how to do it, that will be the greatest achievement of our project,” said Lisa Gutt, a volunteer at We Centre (East and West Centre for Human Resources Development) which organised the “Recycling the future” summer camp for Palestinian children at Jerash’s Gaza Refugee Camp.

The camp, home to 24,000 refugees, was the venue of a six-day training course on recycling that concluded on Thursday.

The project, organised by volunteers from different European countries and involving 30 children between the ages of six and 10, was crowd-funded.

“Through the participation in social events in Amman, and mostly thanks to our Facebook page, we succeeded in raising the money necessary to fund the needs… for the activities. It was amazing to see how much Jordanians were and are interested and committed to this cause, giving not only money, but also offering their help as volunteers,” Gutt said.

With less than 5 per cent of Jordan’s solid waste being recycled, the “Recycling the future” project seeks to raise awareness among the local community on the importance of recycling trash, according to the organisers.

“We decided to educate the kids on recycling, because they are our and Jordan’s future and they have to grow up respecting the environment,” said Luisa, another volunteer.

However, We Centre is not alone in its recycling project, as other recycling initiatives are being launched by Jordanians themselves.

Lubna Masri — a mother and “craftsperson by heart”, as she defines herself — has combined her passion for handicraft making with her love and respect for the environment.

“The main reason that got me into recycling was the unsustainable and damaging lifestyles people are leading nowadays. When I think about recycling, I think about the future I’m setting for my kids. As for Jordan, a prospering nation amidst a distressed region, recycling means maintaining the country’s limited water supply and animal wealth,” said Masri.

Creating furniture and utensils using discarded materials, Masri has decided to share her knowledge in recycling and handicraft in a project implemented by Caritas Jordan, with the involvement of Syrian refugees.

“What touched me the most was that every one of them told me, on separate occasions, that their eyes and minds had opened to a very interesting world and that they wanted to pursue their learning, even if they have to do it by themselves,” she said, recounting her experience.
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