JORDAN – Our Lady of Peace Center OLOPC is owned by the Latin Patriarchate Amman – Jordan institute that provides free services to people with a variety of disabilities such as, intellectual disability, impaired mobility, hearing impairment, bipolar and down syndrome. The center also plays a major role in raising awareness in society in regards to people with disabilities and how to cooperate with them.
The idea of establishing the Department of Splints and Orthotics in Our Lady of Peace Center, jointly with the Italian Cooperation University (ICU) funded by the Italian Development Agency, aims to strengthen the response of the Jordanian health system that got affected because of the rising numbers of refugees who flocked from Syria, mainly focusing on providing services in orthotics and bone deformities.
The new project addresses the needs of Syrian refugees and Jordanians who are less fortunate and have physical disabilities. The project mainly focuses on amputees and kids with cerebral palsy who are considered the most disadvantaged and marginalized groups. The project provides splints and orthotics in addition to rehabilitation services for needy people.
The first year of the project was titled “100 Feet to Walk towards Peace” with the support of the Italian Cooperation University (ICU) in 2015. In that year, 57 lower limb amputees received artificial limbs that were made with high level of vocational professionalism. A training course was given to natural therapy technicians in order to use the right techniques in natural therapy for lower limbs amputation cases.
The second year of the project in 2016, was in partnership with the ICU, as well. Entitled “Out of Shadow,” different governates in Jordan were listed for participation, such as, Irbid, Zarqa and Ajloun. During the project’s second year, 398 beneficiaries received artificial lower limbs, splints (casts) and orthotics, medical shoes, moving aids, physiotherapy and occupational therapy.
For the third year, rehabilitation training courses were provided to technicians to raise efficiency in providing services in this field. Our Lady of Peace Center and the ICU are working hand in hand in order to create innovative help for the kids under the age of six with physical and mental disability; 50 kids were trained on drawing under the supervision of a specialist from Mariam center of art education. Towards the end of the training course, an art gallery was set up on to display the kids’ accomplishments.
By the third year, an agreement was signed with Asia Center of Training and Consulting in Amman in order to train the staff at OLOPC; this agreement lasted for nine months, until January 2017. In addition to that, four prosthetic and artificial limb technicians from Syria are being trained to be professionals in the field of artificial limbs who hope to use their expertise once they go back to their homeland.