In the late 1970s, Her Majesty Queen Noor initiated several development projects in Jordan with the goal of improving the lives of underprivileged individuals and communities in the country. In less than a decade, those projects had expanded and become diversified enough to require the establishment of an organization that would oversee their implementation and progress.
On September 4th 1985, His Majesty King Hussein founded the Noor Al Hussein Foundation (NHF), presided over by Queen Noor. Their goal was to create a pioneering entity that would serve the hopes and aspirations of the Jordanian people through sustainable development programs. Several NHF programs have grown to become leading institutions in the fields of family health, microfinance, women's empowerment and sustainable community development.
When King Hussein passed away in 1999, the King Hussein Foundation?(KHF) was established by Royal Decree to continue King Hussein's humanitarian vision and legacy. In early 2000, NHF became a major KHF institution, operating as an independent entity under the umbrella of KHF to work towards socio-economic advancement in Jordan and the region.
Several NHF projects have become models of excellence for the country and the region. For example, the Jordan Micro Credit Company (Tamweelcom) and the Institute for Family Health are integral parts of Jordan's economic and social development, serving hundreds of thousands of needy individuals, families and communities. NHF projects have also been emulated in other parts of the Middle East, including Syria, Yemen and Palestine, while others have received accolades from various international organizations, such as?Jordan Micro Credit Company (Tamweelcom), which?has been rated as the tenth best microfinance institution worldwide by MIX Market.
A pioneering foundation
Since its founding, NHF has introduced to Jordan and the region innovative, dynamic and sustainable development models that harness the potential in individuals to create a better life for themselves, their families and their communities.
In 1986, NHF launched the Women-In-Development Project to initiate innovative income-generating schemes based on self-employment and home production of medicinal herbs and handicrafts. The project yielded great success in empowering women to become active participants in their own development, informed decision-makers in their homes and trained income earners in their society. Several of the income-generating projects initiated by the Jordan Design and Trade Center are still operating today, and have evolved into independent women's cooperatives.
Rural Lending and Training
NHF introduced the concept of rural lending to Jordan in 1988 based on the Islamic principles of Al Murabaha. This initiative, led by the Quality of Life's Credit Unit, set up ongoing revolving loan funds in 25 rural villages across Jordan, which are managed by trained local loan committees. Over 3,000 loans have been disbursed, increasing job opportunities and enhancing the productivity of entrepreneurs. 60% of beneficiaries are women. NHF's mobile Capacity Building and Business Development Services Unit has also trained thousands of entrepreneurs and community-based organizations (CBOs) across Jordan under this initiative.
Through the Qudorat program, NHF initiated 43 micro to small sustainable income-generation enterprises. These micro enterprises have enhanced the capacity of community based organizations (CBOs) to become social and economic partners in the development of the country. An additional 46 enterprises are currently being launched. Under the Local Development Program for Less Privileged Areas program, communities are benefiting from Qudorat's integrated approach to development. Through capacity building, improved infrastructure and the creation of job opportunities, communities are able to raise themselves out of poverty. Throughout these programs, NHF has introduced and applied international best business practices, ensuring financial sustainability and transparent governance.
In 1986, NHF founded the Institute for Family Health?(IFH) to enhance the availability of high quality health care services for mothers and children. The institute was the first health center in Jordan to provide training in the early detection of childhood disabilities, as well as a comprehensive developmental screening and rehabilitation program for children with minor and moderate disabilities. Today, the IFH has expanded its services to women and their families to include comprehensive health care, ranging from medical, social, psychological and legal counseling, as well as the detection and prevention of domestic violence. The institute provides training in these areas to CBOs and private sector healthcare providers, and is also extending its services to displaced Iraqis in Jordan.
Culture and Arts
From its earliest beginnings, NHF has promoted individual and community self-reliance, grassroots participation in decision-making and project implementation, equal opportunity with special emphasis on the empowerment of women and inter-sectoral cooperation through its programs. Guided by Queen Noor, the initiatives of NHF have helped to advance development thinking in Jordan, progressing beyond traditional charity-oriented social welfare practices to integrate social development strategies more closely with national economic priorities.
With more than two decades of experience of working closely with grassroots communities and over 200 dedicated staff, NHF is uniquely positioned to respond to people's immediate and long-term development needs. NHF's pioneering initiatives and commitment to the communities it serves demonstrate the Foundation's ongoing determination to improve people's lives and enable them to break the cycle of poverty. We continue to strive to bring about lasting, meaningful change for all Jordanians.