Arabic tea and coffee are served in succession as five Jordanian volunteers huddle together in the center, discussing the project, the children, and their experiences. As steam rises from each teacup, the women laugh with one another and spill into explanations of how they've seen the CBR project impact their community. They gladly express the fruit they've witnessed through the years.
One aspect of the change they've seen in their community is acceptance. Over time, the presence of the CBR project and the center have significantly affected how people perceive children and adults with disabilities. "People have begun to come to us from every area," states Om Amar. Amal, who sits beside her, adds excitedly, "There has been so much progress." They go on to explain that people in the community no longer feel the need to hide those with disabilities in their families from the eye of the community. As a result, the high degree of societal shame associated with persons with disabilities has diminished in a truly felt way.
This progress has taken place on the community level, but it's also taken place in each volunteer's heart. Om Amar describes how the work has affected her by saying, "[The project] gives you patience. It gives you the ability to think long term." She explains further by asking, "What will happen with this child? How will your aspirations for him help him to grow and heal and learn and integrate into the community? [The project] has given us this perspective; that I must do something for him so that he can carry on in the future."
So these women continue on, persevering on behalf of the children and their community, sharing a love and passion that grows warmer with time and over many more cups of hot tea.