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?


Monday, 28 January 2013



In May of 2011 we said a fond farewell to our little Teddy as he made his way to Austria to start his new life. It was a bitter sweet moment for each and everyone of us who had grown so fond of Teddy; but none more than Ismail, who had been the main caretaker of Teddy throughout his time at New Hope. It was then that we made a promise to Ismail for him to go and see for himself how Teddy had settled in at Arbesbach Bear Park and we are thrilled to report that almost 18 months later we were able to keep our promise to him!

In October, Ismail and our resident vet Dr.  Abdulla left for Austria, where they would visit Teddy, and also have the opportunity to work alongside Stefan Knopfler (our ‘bear-consultant’ from Baerenwald Arbesbach for Vier Pfoten International) and learn as much as they could about ‘all things bears’! It was a big adventure for both men, and especially for Ismail, who was not only going to be reunited with the bear he had grown so fond of, but was also travelling outside of his home country, Jordan, for the first time in his life !

The plane brought them to Vienna, where a member of the Baerenwald-team collected them from the airport, and after a 2 and a half hour drive through the breathtaking Austrian landscape they finally reached Arbesbach.  This beautiful and peaceful sanctuary houses 7 rescued bears at this time, but of course their first visit was to Teddy. Ismail couldn’t believe what he saw: his little Teddy had grown up to be a huge, healthy, confident and very happy bear!

In the next 10 days, the men worked closely with the team, and learned all there is to know about feeding, enclosure-enrichment, medical care and hygiene plans, as well as how to observe and document each individual bear’s daily routine and behavior, in order to get to know each bear’s personality and individual needs.

It was a great learning experience for Abdulla and Ismail, and this trip has certainly changed the way they look at bears. Having all this new information in their pockets, they returned to Jordan and the New Hope Center to put all this new knowledge into practice. Since their return we have witnessed the building and developing of all kinds of new toys and objects for our resident bear Balou, who seems to be very pleased with them!

By being able to fulfill our promise to Ismail, the life of Balou and all the other animals at New Hope have become  more pleasant and interesting as they try to figure out their new ‘toys’. This is a prime example of how important it is to keep educating ourselves and how much fun it can be at the same time!

We would like to sincerely thank Vier Pfoten International and the amazing team of Baerenwald Arbesbach for making this trip possible and a great success. We are proud to call you our friends!

For more information about Baerenwald Arbesbach and Vier Pfoten, please visit their websites.