Women peace building pioneers

Date: Sunday, December 8, 2019

Lina Al-Maabra leads an art session for the young girls she teaches as part of the joint Generations for Peace and UN Women programme. Photo: GFP

Living and working in Ain Al Baidha area in the far south of Jordan, Lina Al-Maabra’s goals and achievements in her volunteer work all align under one belief: ‘when the teaching profession transcends the boundaries of the textbook, and when a woman is both a teacher and a builder of generations, the future and dreams of young people bloom.’ Lina, 31, works in a centre providing education and rehabilitation services to persons living with disabilities.

I truly believe that people with disabilities have the right to live a healthy lifestyle and to enjoy their lives without facing discrimination.

— Lina Al-Maabra, GFP and UN Women Volunteer

Lina is currently leading an initiative to support girls with disabilities in her community through a programme organized by Generations For Peace and UN Women, in partnership with the European Union. The programme aims to use innovative tools and techniques to empower women to become agents of change in their communities, equipping them with the skills to promote peace and inclusiveness among the youth.

Lina believes that there are pioneering women around the world who have the power to rebuild communities and spread peace. “I started to work in this field when I was in University and, when I finished, I was looking for an opportunity to continue empowering women with disabilities and to better serve my community,” she affirmed.

Working with Lina, these five girls began to open up and to integrate with their surroundings as they interacted with other young people through sport and arts. Not only they achieve major progress in their personal development, but the community began to open up to them as well. Women with disabilities face multiple layers of discrimination and the support they can receive by champions like Lina is critical to reducing their marginalisation and to create more inclusive and resilient communities.

Reflecting on the impact of her work within the broader context of her community, Lina comments, “Women and girls are not always encouraged to take part in volunteer work. Through my experience, I can demonstrate the importance of supporting women’s engagement and the concrete benefit their skills and capacities can bring in the life of others.” Despite challenges in accessing tools and finding adequate facilities to work with these five girls, she never fails to start her volunteer work every day with the same determination and love for giving.