Mohamad Al Huwaimel has over 30 years of experience working in humanitarian response in Jordan and the region. He is currently the Projects Coordinator at the Green Crescent Society (GCS), a national charity organisation founded in 1991.
GCS mission is to organise and execute Islamic humanitarian aid programs, and collaborate with local charitable organisations to respond to emergencies and ease the suffering of impacted people.
Becoming a humanitarian professional: Mohamad’s journey
Mohamad’s wealth of experience working in the humanitarian field started in 1991 in the aftermath of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. He and a group of volunteers started what is now known as the Green Crescent Society by participating in providing shelter and food supplies to Kuwaiti refugees in Jordan.
For the 30 years that followed, Mohamad continued working with GCS as a volunteer in parallel to his work as a full-time teacher. He participated in response projects in Sudan and Somalia in the late 1990s, in addition to GCS projects in Jordan. Mohamad’s volunteering experience extended beyond GCS, as he also volunteered with national NGOs such as Jordan River Foundation, Noor Al-Hussein Foundation, and other local NGOs under the Ministry of Social Development.
In 2016, Mohamad retired from his teaching job and joined GCS as a full-time Projects Coordinator, where he has planned and executed charitable and humanitarian projects within Jordan for the past two years.
Humanitarian learning in Jordan: a positive shift
Mohamad describes the humanitarian learning environment in Jordan as “young”. According to him, this is evident by the lack of a strong regulatory framework to organise the sector, and the frequent inconsistencies he sees in the performance of many local organisations. There are nearly 5,000 local charities registered under the Ministry of Social Development, although nearly 70 charities shut down every month.
However, Mohamad sees a positive shift in the level of sophistication and knowledge in humanitarian work in light of the Syrian crisis and the new presence of international organisations. As a result, he sees local and national organisations moving toward playing a more specialised role in humanitarian work, which -in his perspective- is a step in the right direction.
This shift toward speciality creates a greater demand for specialised trainings, which he thinks are currently not available. Mohamad also mentions the need for small and medium national NGOs to start investing in training their staff to prepare them to do their jobs more effectively.
The Enabling Access Learning Centre: offering training opportunities for humanitarians in the Middle East
Mohamad is an active and eager learner, he spares no opportunity to learn and improve himself. His personal goal is to become an expert in project management. This was the main reason why he was so quick to accept the invitation to attend the ‘Project Life Cycle’ training course at the Learning Centre in Amman, coupled with his previous experience of attending the Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS) training, which he describes as “wonderful”.
He spoke very fondly of his experience attending the CHS training along with two of his colleagues from GCS. He went on talking about the benefit they gained from the course staying:
“Prior to taking that training, we at the Green Crescent were not aware of the Standard, and our work – while did touch upon some of the commitments – was not organised to the level of sophistication and thoroughness the CHS promotes. Therefore, we were thrilled to learn about the CHS through the course, and we started incorporating the commitments in our work where feasible immediately.”
Ever since attending the CHS training in early 2018, Mohamad has been an active user on Kaya, the Academy’s elearning platform, keeping an eye on new courses. He hopes that the Academy can expand the Arabic learning offer, as he believes it is very important to all humanitarian workers in the region.
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