The programs and institutions of the King Hussein Foundation and Noor Al Hussein Foundation (NHF) seek to instill and inspire change in key areas of development:
Gifted Education. The Jubilee School and the Center work with partner NGOs and educational institutions to conduct regional conferences focused on educational excellence and gifted education, most recently in Bahrain, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The School also provides consultations at the regional level to Ministers of Education and to national schools on how to identify and nurture gifted students, as well as on the creation of measurement tools and the development of curricula, including in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE, Qatar and Yemen.
Technology Innovation. The Institute was the first in the region to organize an international information technology forum, and has introduced several computer networking, video conferencing, and distant education programs in schools in Jordan and the region. Robotics design and technology was also introduced by the Institute in several schools and universities in Jordan and the region including in Kuwait, UAE, Sudan, Qatar, Palestine and Lebanon.
International Competitions and Exchange. The Institute continues to advance educational knowledge and innovation by participating in various international summits and competitions in technology, physics, science, math, and astronomy as well as cultural exchange programs and competitions in France, Germany, India, Poland, U.S. and Korea. The Center held the first Open Arab Robotics Championship in 2009 in which nine Arab countries participated.
Empowering Individuals and Communities
Microfinance Industry Development. The NHF's Jordan Micro Credit Company, or Tamweelcom, is a regional leader in microfinance providing micro credit assistance to 'unbankable' entrepreneurs. In 2008, Tamweelcom was ranked the top microfinance institute in the MENA region and the eighth best worldwide by the MIX Global 100 Composite ranking, and has been internationally recognized for its commitment to financial transparency and management efficiency. Tamweelcom provided regional training in marketing strategies, as well as training in financial analysis to the Central Bank of Yemen and to the microfinance industry in Egypt. It has also consulted to the Central Bank of Sudan on human resources in microfinance industries.
Women's Business Training. Through the Community Development Program (CDP), the NHF's Micro Business Incubator targets women entrepreneurs in rural areas with specialized business training, marketing assistance, and access to financial institutions. The program has been replicated in Syria with EU funding, and is being studied in Yemen and Saudi Arabia. The CDP has provided project cycle management training in Yemen, and in Saudi Arabia it advised on the establishment of economic initiatives for women and provided marketing manuals for potential trainers and women entrepreneurs. The CDP has also provided training in Iraq on comprehensive development methodology, social and health initiatives and establishing income-generating enterprises.
Sustainable Foundation Development. The CDP has provided consultation to the Prime Ministry of Bahrain on establishing a sustainable foundation with integrated programs that advance social, economic, and educational reform to raise the overall quality of life among disadvantaged communities.
Participatory Rural Development Training. NHF's Quality of Life (QOL) project has gained international recognition for its pioneering participatory approach to rural development, integrating labor-intensive self-employment schemes with business development, health, education, community participation and socio-economic empowerment of women and their families. Recognized by WHO and other UN agencies as a qualified training center on integrated development, more than 500 decision-makers and NGO practitioners from 15 Arab and Muslim countries have been trained on various aspects of this sustainable comprehensive approach, including representatives from Bahrain, Palestine, Afghanistan, Tunisia, Egypt, Oman, Morocco, Pakistan, Iran, Somalia, Syria, Sudan, UAE, Yemen and Qatar.
In addition, the QOL project methodology has been replicated in Yemen with NHF training on community mobilization and participation, and since 2004 specially designed training has been continuously provided for Iraqi workers in Jordan. NHF also offers a database of training manuals covering a variety of topics in the Arabic language.
Regional Integrated Family Healthcare, Training, and Services to Displaced Iraqis. NHF's Institute for Family Health (IFH) is a regional model, providing training in Jordan and the region on comprehensive family health care, childhood disabilities, psychology and social work. The IFH has provided training in the early detection of disabilities in children for the Rami Center for Autism in Erbil, Iraq, on gender-based violence for the Women's Health Center in Palestine, and on reproductive health and gender-based violence for the Family Planning Association in Syria.
The IFH is UNHCR's strategic NGO partner in Jordan providing multi-disciplinary services to displaced Iraqis, with emphasis on women and children, including health care and rehabilitation services, psycho-social counseling and therapy, and child development. The IFH is a leading agency in the provision of psycho-social services in Jordan offering medical, legal and social, as well as overall mental well-being support to displaced Iraqis.
The IFH recently built the region's first Trauma Center (funded by the Danish Government) to offer a specialized psycho-social counseling center for the disabled, traumatized victims of violence, and displaced Iraqis in Jordan. NHF also provides vocational training to supplement Iraqi family incomes through its Business Development Services Unit.
Promoting Cross-Cultural Understanding
Arts Exchanges and Training. NHF's National Center for Culture and Performing Arts (PAC) promotes social development and cross-cultural understanding through national and international performing arts programs, exchanges and training. The PAC hosts the annual International Arab Children's Congress in Jordan, bringing together thousands of young people from around the world to foster tolerance and understanding. The PAC influences social change through its interactive social-based theater, conducting regional training in creative movement, theater and drama in education in Oman, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Palestine, as well as capacity building in cultural management and performing arts programs in Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
The PAC promotes a global culture of peace and an understanding of Arab culture through its international participation in theater and dance festivals. It has presented several social-based interactive plays, cultural events and dance performances in the U.S., Syria, Sweden, France, Japan, Turkey and UAE, and has participated in various European programs tailored for young artists. The Center has won several international and regional awards from the U.S., Egypt, UAE, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Greece.
The National Music Conservatory (NMC), Jordan's premier institution for the development of talented local musicians, demonstrates the power of music to promote understanding, peace and unity across cultural divides. Conservatory musicians have participated in a global network of international competitions, seminars, workshops and master classes, winning numerous awards. The Conservatory's graduates, students and faculty members are continuously invited to perform with international ensembles such as the Palestine Youth Orchestra, the West Eastern Divan Orchestra of Daniel Barenboim and Edward Said's initiative, and the Orchestra of the Arab Youth. A recognized center that advocates music education and appreciation, the Conservatory has provided consultancy and training on a regional level and as a worldwide jury examination member, in countries including Egypt, China, Japan, India, Philippines, Turkey, France, Switzerland, U.S., Uruguay, and Brazil. As part of the EU funded project Medimuses, the NMC has conducted training and workshops on Arabic and Jordanian music in Greece, Tunisia, Lebanon, Turkey, France and the UK.
Conducting Research and Improving Public Policy
The KHF's Information and Research Center (IRC) works to improve the well-being of children, youth and families by providing objective multidisciplinary research and analysis to practitioners and policy makers in Jordan and the Middle East to enable effective socio-economic planning and decision-making.
Child-Focused Research. The IRC has conducted research in the region on children's literacy (Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and Syria), and assists displaced Iraqi mothers with early education and play therapy training. Additionally, the IRC holds annual regional conferences on the Rights of Children Under Difficult Circumstances, in partnership with Childwatch Research Network International and Al Quds University, to address issues around children's rights and security. In 2008, the Center organized a regional conference on the effects of war and armed conflict on children, with participants from several UN agencies, USAID and international NGOs.
Policy Issue Assessments. The IRC has conducted an Open Society Institute-funded assessment on 'Traditional Knowledge and Biodiversity' in the Sultanate of Oman, and a workshop on refugee and asylum issues for participants from the U.S., Brazil, Palestine, Jordan and Ireland, funded by the University of Chicago.