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From Glastonbury to Amman with humanitarian action, compassion

By Rayya Al Muheisen - Nov 20,2023 - Last updated at Nov 20,2023

Melody Waterworth is determined to make a difference where governments have fallen short (Photo courtesy of Melody Waterworth)

AMMAN — From the serene streets of her hometown in Glastonbury in the UK to the lively streets of Amman, Melody Waterworth embarks on a journey that extends beyond borders.

With a career in the public sector dedicated to social good, Melody sought to bridge gaps and address problems as her way of giving back efficiently.

However, a pivotal moment came on October 7, etched in her memory as a sign of impending tragedy. Melody, who studied genocide studies and conflict resolution, coupled with a profound awareness of the Palestinian struggle, felt compelled to take urgent action.

“From the first minute, I was mobilised to do everything I possibly could to prevent the genocide of a people I have come to see as brothers and sisters and reduce their suffering to ensure survival,” Melody shared with The Jordan Times.

Having called Jordan home for the past two-and-a-half years, Melody forged deep connections with friends of Palestinian heritage. The interconnected community in Amman allowed her to perceive Levantine Arabs as different branches of the same broader family. 

Expressing frustration and deep shame at the lack of international intervention for Palestinians, Melody declared, “It is this injustice that makes me so emboldened to commit my life force to this cause.”

Melody channels her commitment into fundraising initiatives, determined to make a difference where governments have fallen short. For her, this is not just a cause; it’s a personal journey fueled by empathy, kinship and an unwavering belief in the power of collective action.

Transitioning from corporate leadership, Melody made a profound decision to entrust her company to a capable team. Her focus shifted to a cause that ignited a passionate fire within her — support for Gaza. In a mission that transcends borders, she brings together aid workers, business owners, and stakeholders in a collective effort to alleviate suffering.

“At the core of my efforts is partnership brokering,” Melody added. 

Her strategy connects like-minded individuals and organisations, fostering a space where ideas and resources are shared. This collaborative approach extends to supporting the people of Gaza medically evacuated, linking them with vital contacts at the International Committee of the Red Cross for long-term assistance.

Her work, in addition to the work of another three volunteers from Jordan, Dubai and the UK, include collaborating with organisations such as Jordan Hashemite Charity Organisation and Tkiyet Um Ali. They orchestrated a well-coordinated effort that saw up to 600 individuals giving their time to package food parcels for Tkiyet Um Ali.

“It was a combined effort of up to 600 incredible people who gave their time,” Melody reflects with gratitude.

Despite operational success, the harsh reality persisted, only trickles of aid were reaching Gaza. Undeterred, Melody pivoted her focus to maximise impact. 

“I then shifted my attention to crafting a lobbying campaign urging Western citizens to pressure their governments for a robust response,” she added. 

This grassroots movement expanded to involve national key players, including the offices of the prime minister and the minister of foreign affairs, said Melody. 

“Once this operation was set up, and with only trickles of aid reaching Gaza, I decided to use my time more efficiently and started to build a lobbying campaign for Western citizens to pressure their governments,” Melody recounts.

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