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Tourism minister opens Beit Sweimeh Cooperative in Jordan Valley

By JT - Mar 02,2022 - Last updated at Mar 02,2022

Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Nayef Al Fayez inaugurates the Beit Sweimeh Cooperative of the Jordan Valley in the Dead Sea area on Wednesday (Photo courtesy of BDC)

AMMAN — Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Nayef Al Fayez on Wednesday inaugurated the Beit Sweimeh Cooperative of the Jordan Valley in the Dead Sea area supported by UNICEF and implemented by the Business Development Centre (BDC).

UNICEF representative in Jordan Tanya Chapuisat, representatives of Jordan Tourism Board, tourism agencies, and members of the local community attended the event.

The Beit Sweimeh Cooperative, part of “Supporting women-led associations in the local community” programme, aims to generate employment opportunities for young women especially those aged 18-24 years old, according to a BDC statement. 

“Supporting Women-led Associations in the local community” programme is part of UNICEF’s Learning to Earning programme and is implemented by the BDC. 

The cooperative aims to establish Sweimeh as a touristic destination. Additionally, the cooperative would contribute to offering gastronomic experiences, replicating the model of Beit Khairat Souf in the Jerash Governorate. 

Fayez said that the establishment and development of Beit Sweimeh Cooperative with the support of UNICEF, represents a solution in marketing the region in terms of tourism and history. 

Fayez added that the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities focuses, through its national strategy, on partnership and empowerment with local communities. 

During the event, Fayez explored the facilities and tried traditional dishes prepared by women, listening to their experiences in joining the labour market. This is following a capacity building training for 27 women from Sweimeh and vocational training for food preparation, production, and service. This offered 15 women job opportunities, preparing and serving traditional and popular dishes to tourists.

“UNICEF is proud to support women and youth across Jordan to gain the skills, knowledge and connections they need to become economically engaged and to achieve their dreams. This successful model of social enterprise has demonstrated that all girls and women have the potential to be change makers in their communities, creating a powerful ripple effect that benefits their families, the local economy and the country’s future prosperity,” said Chapuisat. 

“We are grateful for UNICEF’s support promoting and developing the cooperative to provide quality touristic services ultimately enhancing women’s participation in the labour market”, said Ghaleb Hijazi, BDC General Manager. 

Serene Al-Sharif, Director of the Beit Sweimeh Cooperative expressed her gratitude to UNICEF for bringing more visibility to the Jordan Valley Development and Growth Association which helps provide quality tourism services, improving the income and increasing the capacity to employ women from the local community.

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