No longer isolated

"I grew up in Amman, the youngest sister of four brothers, and I was very protected by my family. Women in Jordan do not enjoy the same freedoms as men and I felt very isolated. I did not have many friends as I was never allowed to socialise with them out of school.

"One of my teachers recognised my problem and suggested that I became involved with the Award. My biggest challenge was reassuring my family that I would be safe and that the Award would enhance my education rather than distract it. In no time at all I was involved in expeditions, community service projects, pursuing a hobby and learning a sport. The best part about it all was that I was meeting people of my own age and having immense fun. I felt totally fulfilled.

"Never before in my wildest dreams did I feel that I could achieve so much on my own initiative and gain so much from teamwork. I have changed from a reticent young lady into a confident and ambitious young adult who my family are very proud of. I am about to leave school this year and plan to go to university. A major achievement in my male dominated society!"

Almira, Jordan