Source: Tech Tribes, contribution from Alaa Al-Masri and Renad Hamoudeh
Translated by: Hashem Al-Qudah/ Communication Officer, Tech Tribes.
The story of Alaa and Renad is one of perseverance and commitment. The two social innovators and entrepreneurs applied to participate in the Social Innovation Incubator for 2018 supported by the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI). They got accepted because of their experience architecting and launching an online national campaign to spread awareness about Diabetes and rally the public to donate their old blood-sugar testing devices to patients in need.
During the Social Innovation Camp, Alaa and Renad have mentored a group of active youth group planning health-related campaigns regarding organ donation in Jordan and the correct use of antibiotics by both medical professionals and the public.
The match between the mentees and the mentors for this group was a success. Rama, one of Alaa’s and Renad’s mentees reported: “I feel lucky that we have been assigned Alaa and Renad as our mentors. They have exposure to the medical field in Jordan, the laws and the know-how of how to approach health-related campaigns.”
When asked about her participation in the camp and the program as a whole, Renad expressed:
“The Social Innovated Camp opened my eyes to news way one can innovate in advocacy and awareness campaigns. The Ten Types of Innovation Model we learnt was particularly helpful as a tool to structure one’s ideas and spot gaps in one’s work model that need improvement and innovation”.
Alaa shared that her turning point was the Capacity Building Workshops by Tech Tribes that took place after the camp; training and capacity building workshops aimed at up-skilling participants and strengthening their knowledge base in topics like project design and management, communication and media, organizational structures and management, as well as budgeting and finance to mention a few.
Alaa has learnt everything she knows about campaigning, volunteering, and social engagement through experience; she reported:
“I have never took specialized trainings that could have consolidated my experience in the field. I have always relied on my empathy, common sense and some training skills in all the activities I led or participated in. However, the trainings I received as part of the Incubator Program were high in technical knowledge and quality; I now feel ore empowered continuing my journey in the development field”.
Renad has graduated the program and joined an international organization serving refugee children in camps; she trains on social innovation and entrepreneurship as a way for strengthening resilience and enhancing social integration. Alaa, on the other hand, is still working as a civil engineer, but she has intensified her volunteer and developmental initiatives. She is now recognized as successful consultant all thanks to her experience in the programs’ 10 months incubation and the trainings received as part of it.