News Release

Shepherding Hope in Jordan

The Church and Al Jahuth continue their joint efforts to foster self-reliance

More than 100 milk sheep in Jordan were just the beginning of a long-term, sustainable project that will affect the lives of many struggling families in Jordan.

The 150 sheep were donated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to Al Jahuth, a local humanitarian organization in Madaba, Jordan. The sheep are part of a plan to provide a perpetual income to Al Jahuth. The organization, in turn, will donate the milk to refugees and other people in need in an effort to help them become financially independent.

The Church donated nine months’ worth of feed along with the sheep and some money toward a serviceable truck to ensure the success of the fold. Al Jahuth volunteers watch the sheep and milk them by hand twice a day.

Half of the milk has been given to three families for three months. Al Jahuth volunteers instruct the recipient families on how to use the milk to make butter, yogurt, cheese, and jameed, a Jordanian specialty, to sell. At the end of the three months, the families are able to purchase their milk sheep or goats with the proceeds from their sales. Going forward, the families can create a perpetual income to improve their living standards.

Al Jahuth is a family-run nonprofit organization started by Mansour Oklah Al Hashem. His children, Sana’a Al Hashem and Abdalmote Al Hashem, are committed to continuing the work their father began as they administer relief to local families in difficult circumstances. The Al Jahuth volunteers all work full-time jobs and care for their own families while caring for their neighbors in need during their free time.

“Many refugee families raised sheep or goats before being driven from their homes in Syria,” Sana’a Al Hashem noted. “This is something they know how to do well. For others, it is a new venture, an opportunity to learn new skills and stand independently.” In both cases, she says, “Having a milk goat makes a huge difference to these families to be able to provide better for themselves.”

The number of families that Al Jahuth can assist will increase incrementally over the years as their fold grows and produces more milk. In just nine months, the fold has already expanded to 220 sheep. The flock is projected to increase to nearly 600 sheep in five years.

When offered financial support by one of the humanitarian organizations, Sana’a Al Hashem declined the offer, saying, “We are a charity. We don’t take money for ourselves. We just want our God to help us, nothing else.”

The Church has also supported Al Jahuth’s other efforts by helping fund various projects, the most recent being in December 2023. Al Jahuth identified 150 families living in tents in need of warmth to survive the chilly Jordanian winter. With a donation from the Church, Al Jahuth purchased blankets, heaters and coats for all the children. Sana’a Al Hashem carefully identified the recipient families and learned the coat sizes of each of the youngsters to ensure that all had well-fitting winter jackets.

Mary Helen Taylor, a senior service volunteer with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, helped Al Jahuth distribute the coats, blankets and tent heaters. “We feel grateful to see these projects blessing the lives of God’s children struggling to have basic necessities,” she said. “We are thankful for generous people who have given so much time and energy to lift and help their neighbors, even their new neighbors who have had to flee their homelands.”

Al Jahuth is working toward sustainable independence as an organization while also helping families and individuals in the community experience the dignity of self-reliance. This mission fits with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ focus on helping people all over the world better care for themselves and their neighbors.

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