Institution Spotlight: Jofeh Community Rehabilitation Center

February 6, 2020- Posted in Disabilities, Education, Institution Spotlight, Jordan

This young teacher at Jofeh is a graduate of Holy Land Institute for the Deaf.

In the Jordan Valley town of Jofeh, Jordan, just five miles from the Dead Sea, a community center alive with activity offers hope and a future to young people with physical and intellectual disabilities.

Beyond the academic, vocational, and therapy programs offered at the Jofeh Community Rehabilitation Center, outreach workers provide home-based physical and occupational therapy to about 125 patients and vision and hearing screening throughout outlying villages and in 20 public schools.

A young man makes Christmas ornaments in the woodshop. AFEDJ Trustee Nicholas Porter admires his work.

Opened in 1996 as a satellite center of the Holy Land Institute for the Deaf, the Jofeh Center – known in Arabic as Beit Saleem or “Safe House” – serves a population of about 60,000 people across 13 villages. 

“We are the only Christians in this area,” explained Yousef Rizik, the Center’s manager, “and we are the only people doing this outreach work. Everyone we serve is Muslim.”

A young woman makes handmade paper from recycled materials. The paper will be made into beautiful greeting cards and other items for the Center’s shop.

Vocational training is at the core of the Jofeh Center’s mission, particularly for young women with physical and intellectual disabilities whose options for future success are limited. Workshops for sewing, embroidery, weaving, woodworking, and paper making from recycled paper are offered. A shop at the center sells the many products made by the students. 

“This training allows them to become fuller members of the local community and offers the opportunity for gainful employment,” said Rizik. The Center also offers a school for children with a wide range of disabilities, English lessons, computer training, and sign language classes.

Beyond the daily programs at the center in Jofeh, staff and volunteers offer free transportation for clients and students to the center, free meals for children under two, a toy library for local children, and educational sessions for community members to learn more about children with disabilities. In 2018 more than 900 local residents attended these sessions. 

Despite its short distance to the Dead Sea and the baptismal site at Bethany Beyond the Jordan, the Jofeh Center is off the beaten path of most pilgrim groups. Its leaders are seldom afforded the opportunity to share the story of the amazing Christian witness demonstrated with love and care to the people of the Jordan Valley at this safe haven, this Beit Saleem.

Every dollar donated to the Jofeh Center makes a significant impact on the lives of vulnerable children and their families. Your financial support of the Jofeh Center will transform lives. 

Check out more wonderful photos in the Jofeh Center album on Flickr.