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Queen launches JRF’s mobile emerging technology exhibitions

By JT - Feb 27,2018 - Last updated at Feb 27,2018

Her Majesty Queen Rania poses for a group photo at the Mobile Emerging Technology Exhibitions at the Ras Al Ein on Tuesday (Photo courtesy of Royal Court)

AMMAN — In her capacity as Chairperson of the Jordan River Foundation (JRF), Her Majesty Queen Rania on Tuesday launched the Mobile Emerging Technology Exhibitions, featuring a wide range of innovative and interactive activities designed to empower and motivate youth, a statement by Her Majesty Office said.

Organised by JRF in partnership with UNICEF, the exhibitions are part of the Social Innovation Labs project, which focuses on unleashing the creativity and skills of vulnerable youth in Jordan.

 Her Majesty joined a group of schoolchildren for a briefing session on the project and its activities at the Ras Al Ein Gallery. She then toured the exhibits, accompanied by JRF Director General Enaam Barrishi, UNICEF Jordan Country Office Representative Robert Jenkins, and Children’s Museum Jordan (CMJ) Director Sawsan Dalaq. 

 Designed by CMJ, the exhibitions consist of 10 mobile vans, which travel across the country to reach local communities in Jordan’s 12 governorates. The exhibitions’ various social and tech-based activities are divided into four main themes, “Tell Us Your Story”, “Energy”, “Arts & Technology”, and “Escape the Room”. Each theme features an array of interactive activities designed to boost youth’s self-confidence and help them develop tech-based solutions.

 Queen Rania dropped by the Coding and Circuit Tinker Labs, Augmented Reality Sandbox, and ZSpace by Zain. She also heard from the creators of a number of innovative youth projects, including initiatives to assist the blind and promote tourism in Jordan, a mobile application combatting school violence, and the Green Roofs Initiative. 

 Speaking on behalf of UNICEF Jordan, Jenkins highlighted the strength of the organisation’s partnerships with the government, private sector and civil society organisations like JRF, through which UNICEF provides youth with access to technology and opportunities to contribute meaningfully to society.

In turn, Barrishi explained that JRF’s strategic partnership with UNICEF is part of the foundation’s continuous efforts to empower local youth via innovative programmes that employ technology as a tool of social and economic change.

 Launched by JRF and UNICEF in 2017, the Social Innovation Lab project comprises 10 mobile vans stationed at UNICEF “Makani” Centers across Jordan. An all-encompassing initiative targeting youth between the ages of 14 and 18, Makani offers well-coordinated, cost-effective services to vulnerable children, creating safe social spaces for them to connect, learn, and play. 

 Throughout 2017, the Social Innovation Labs project trained more than 6,000 youth across Jordan, culminating in the launch and implementation of 150 innovative community projects. In addition to its mobile technology exhibitions, the project utilizes theoretical and practical training on social innovation, and community-based youth projects and initiatives.

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