Sunday, 15 May 2016

Moving forward in Petra...

On Monday the 9th of May 2016 the teams working in Petra met at the clinic for an event marking the end of Phase 1 of the Petra project. The project was launched in partnership with the Petra Development and Tourism Regional Authority (PDTRA), Four Paws International and the Princess Alia Foundation.
The working horses of Petra

During Phase 1 a number of areas were addressed. A water canal was constructed to protect the site of the clinic and stables from flash floods, the water will be collected and used throughout the year. Two stable blocks were constructed offering the horses a safe and comfortable place to rest where they would be protected from the extreme temperatures in both the summer and winter months. A number of volunteer vets and farriers and a horse management specialist from both Four Paws and PAF visited Petra where they treated the horses and conducted training and awareness programs for the horse owners and the local community. 
One of the horses enjoying some rest in the newly constructed stables

Adjusting the new harness and modified carriage
The progress has been visible at many levels and it has been a great pleasure to create a solid and positive partnership with all involved and to have earned the trust of the Horse Owners Association in Petra and the local community working with the horses. We look forward to moving forward to Phase 2 where we hope to be able to achieve more sustainable positive change for all involved.
Sheltered rest area for the horses

Certificates of achievement were distributed by HRH Princess Alia Al Hussein to all who completed the various training courses

Ursula Rahm and Bridget Hancock distribute new head collars to the horse owners who showed most improvement in the care of their horses

Local community members

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

The Rose Red City...

When you mention Jordan the reaction of most people is, "Oh I would love to see Petra!" And they are justified in their response.

Petra is truly a wonder of the world and one we as Jordanians are very proud of.

On the other hand we have also received a number of concerns when talking about the working animals in Petra and we are well aware of the challenges faced by the local communities and the Park Authority.

Through a partnership with Four Paws International and the Petra Tourism and Development Regional Authority, PAF has launched a new project to assist in the rehabilitation and development of the Equine Hospital and its surrounding area in Petra as well as to provide training and awareness to the local community working with the animals.

The fist phase has now begun where we are constructing water canals which will protect the site from flash floods which cause a great deal of degradation to the site of the hospital as well as endanger the lives of the people and animals in the area. New resting areas will also be constructed so the horses and donkeys have a safe, shaded and comfortable area to rest.

Treatment and training sessions have already been conducted for the local vets and vet nurses working in Petra by visiting equine vets Dr. Thomas Stohler and Dr. Helmut Fiegel which served to highlight the main areas of concern. We have been very fortunate that the visiting doctors donated their time to be a part of this development and we aim to hold more of these training visits during phase 2 of the project, therefore supporting the local vets and building their capacity.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Small Miracles - The Story of the Princess Alia Foundation

Co-authored by HRH Princess Alia, the eldest daughter of the late King Hussein of Jordan, and Sharifa Sarra Ghazi, Small Miracles, the Story of the Princess Alia Foundation is the account of an extraordinary charitable endeavour. When it was established in 2009, the authors little knew how the Foundation would fundamentally change their lives, as well as the lives of countless others – animal and human. Written with passion and humour and gloriously illustrated, this book should be compulsory reading in every part of the world, to reawaken the seeds of compassion that live in all mankind but all too often lie dormant through ignorance or social conditioning, to remind us that we share this planet and our destiny with all living things, and to promote the balance, harmony and respect of all creation. 

Officially launched at Readers Bookshop in Amman Jordan and now available for sale at Readers, through Medina Publishing and on Amazon.

For a review of Small Miracles please follow the link:

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

A good deed helps those in need...

A call from a local resident of the town of Ajloun alerted the RSCN to a situation in Ajloun. A man was keeping and raising a number of wild animals in his house. In fact the authorities have been tracking this particular individual for a number of years, however with no success.

The RSCN jumped into action, alerting their partners at the Environmental Police and Al Ma'wa for nature and Wildlife as to the situation. A search warrant in hand members of the wildlife enforcement unit at the RSCN and the police headed to Ajloun.

On searching the house they found what they were looking for and were finally able to catch this particular person 'red-handed'. A sub-adult striped hyena was found in a filth covered cage. There were also sacks with 331 greek Tortoises piled in them, a Chukar and a small deer (no more than a few weeks old).

As the police tended to the man in question the RSCN loaded the animals into the transport vehicles and headed to the New Hope Centre of Al Ma'wa.

Dr. Zain and her team were ready for the animals and after an initial medical assessment the animals were released into their enclosures to start their rehabilitation.

The worst case was the young Hyena. It was obvious that this pup had been kept in the cage for the better part of its life. The front left paw was bent backwards and the hyena was unable to extend the leg to have free range of movement. There was also a heavy metal chain around it's neck which Dr. Zain managed to remove. We await a further more in depth assessment of the young pup once it has settled a little.

Dr. Zain removes the chain around the pup's neck
The cage in which the hyena was living.
The tortoises were also in a terrible state. It is hard to assess how long they had been kept in the sacks and many of them had died by the time they reached NHC. The team are busy assessing each and everyone of them which is no small task.
The terrible way in which these tortoises had been kept.

In total there were 6 sacks of tortoises.

The tortoises released in the enclosure at NHC where their medical assessment begins.
The young deer was, thankfully in good condition, although slightly disorientated and stressed. She has settled in well and we look forward to watching her grow.
Arriving at NHC

Getting to know her new surroundings

The Chukar arrived in a cardboard box, but is also in an acceptable condition. We look forward to being able to release her very soon.

The man who had held these animals illegally was arrested and will be going to court. We await the verdict. We are fortunate in Jordan that there are people who are willing to do the right thing by the law and that we have effective teams who are able to take action and enforce the law. Working together in true partnerships, nothing is impossible...

Sunday, 23 February 2014

A quick update...

It is hard to believe that we are already in our fourth year of Growing Together and the programme remains the star of PAF as we witness new miracles each and every day.

From our humble beginning of 35 students our numbers rose quickly to 50 by the end of a few months and continued to rise. It is heartwarming to see as we fulfill the much needed assistance for all children in need, however it also highlights the tremendous need for effective programs for these children.

As of this morning we now have 1000 children joining us on Growing Together, from all areas of the country and we are certain this number will keep growing! 

We ask you to help us keep this going and through your kind donations and support we may still witness the positive change in the lives of the children and their families.

Growing Together...Where Miracles Happen

Help us by supporting our campaign

Friday, 27 September 2013

Sustainable Education through Renewable Energy...

"Why aren't the computers in use?"
It seems to be a perfectly logical question to the Head of ICT in the school...
"The electricity..." Perhaps not such a logical answer for those who have not experienced schools in rural areas of the country and not just here in Jordan; there are many school around the world for whom electricity is a luxury, and we talk about the new era of ICT in education?

Where there is a problem: there is always a solution.

The most recent project about to be launched officially by PAF is just that! The solution, and we hope it will be the solution for many schools around the country and other schools in need around the world, entails powering the schools through solar energy where any excess energy is sold to the national grid providing the school with an income leading to sustainability of the school affording all students access to quality education. The use of solr energy will also reduce the demand on conventional sources of energy, reducing the demand on the national grid and promoting the use of renewable energy as an alternative form of power. 

PAF has partnered with KIA Motors, to lauch the 'Schools Powered by KIA' project. This entails outfitting the schools with solar panels where the schools then produce their own electricity and run the school from A to Z through solar power. This means that they can finally use the computers, lights, printers etc. KIA have also donated cooling and heating systems which are able to run on solar power to the schools.

Two schools have been chosen as the models for the project and are located in the small village of Ghweibeh, in the Southern Jordan Valley. The installation of the solar system is now complete and the team is working on the testing of the equipment.

The system allows for the school to cover all their electricity needs through the solar panels and all excess energy will be fed into the national grid generating an income for the school which will allow the school improve the level of education by buying all the basic things they need, such as paper, pencils and extra resources to enrich the learning experience for all their students.
Students of Ghweibeh village; their excitement visible through their smiles!

These two schools will be fully oprational this coming week and we look forward to expanding this project to other schools across the country.
PAF would like to extend their deep gratitude and respect to KIA Motors and all their staff for their commitment and dedication in seeing this project come to life...we look forward to seeing more of our schools 'Powered by KIA'.
The Ghweibeh boys school

A view of the Ghweibeh girls school.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

New visitors to New Hope...

The call came in at 10:00am on the 15 of July, "We have big cats at the border".

The initial report from the customs officer at the Saudi -Jordanian border was that they were two Cheetah cubs. The cubs were being smuggled across the border from Saudi Arabia and were to be kept in a private collection in Jordan.

Ghazi, the RSCN Ranger in the area moved quickly to the border where he inspected the cubs and called to inform us of that they were in fact two Tiger cubs, no older than 6 weeks. They seemed to be in reasonable health although highly stressed - which is not hard to believe looking at the way in which they were transported...
With all the paperwork completed, Ghazi set off with the cubs to New Hope where the team was busy preparing the quarantine area for their imminent arrival.
Although dehydrated and disorientated the cubs began to investigate their new surroundings on being released from the confines of their tiny travel crates (hardly big enough for a small domestic cat!). Their hissing and spitting was also of much comfort as the staff put food and water for them.
First tentative steps

Understandably very cautious of the new surroundings

Showing us that although he may be small he has a very loud roar!
Thankfully enjoying a good meal

It was determined that the cubs were male and female and most likely siblings. They were also a little older than what was originally reported. The cubs were kept in the clinic area of New Hope under observation by the ever present staff and Dr. Zain and they were pleased to see the cubs settle for the night.

The cubs quickly regained their strength and only a few days after their arrival they were moved to their outdoor enclosure where they were provided with ample toys. It is a true blessing to be able to report that they are doing well and although still cautious of any new faces which appear they are settling in well.

Watching the tiger cubs brings a smile to our faces...however it is bittersweet. The fact that these glorious animals will live a life in captivity is a tragedy which happens every day. Thinking of the future of these young ones had they not been discovered at the border is something which sends shivers down ones spine...when will we as human beings, stop looking at those which share the planet with us as commodities there for our own entertainment and greed?