GlobalGiving report March 2023
WLR training and read aloud sessions
We have trained 24 new trainees on our online training platform, 215 Ambassadors have joined our program in Africa.
The number of children impacted 2290 children.
A total of 1833 books were distributed in the past 4 months,
Each ambassador received a book package to start their own library, the package contains 10 books that are fun, creative, and unleash the children’s imaginations. Books are developed according to set criteria and methodology, taking into account factors such as theme, relevancy to the children’s culture and background, language, and age-appropriateness. The books cover a variety of themes, including environmental awareness, empathy, gender, non-violence, disabilities, and refugees. Your donations also helped us conduct research to assess the impact of the program on children’s resilience and self-compassion.
We have also distributed more copies of our latest book Mama’s Magic which is based on the story of a Syrian refugee mother and her daughter who through We Love Reading have discovered the magic of reading and becoming changemakers! A total of 74 copies of Mama the storyteller were distributed in the past 4 months.
- In the past 4 months, we held a seminar titled “The Journey of Change Makers - We Love Reading” under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture and in the presence of His excellency Director of the National Library, Nidal Ayasara, and the representative and head of the UNESCO office in Jordan, Main Jeong Kim.
In this Seminar Scientists from Yale University, Hang Seng University and The Hashemite University shared findings of the latest collaborative research project; Theory of change and social impact measurement of We Love Reading program impact on women’s leadership, empowerment, wellbeing, life satisfaction and social networks.
The findings showed that the reading intervention for children created an opportunity and an environment for relations to be developed between the WLR Ambassadors and the children. Additionally, the life satisfaction and psychological well-being of women increased in the We Love Reading group from baseline to endline. Preliminary analyses of the endline results show that volunteering work diversified women’s personal networks outside the home. On the other hand, mothers of children who took part in WLR in 2021 continue to report higher levels of child attitudes toward reading a year later than mothers of children who didn’t join the program.
Another panel discussion was held for WLR ambassadors during the seminar where they discussed the impact of the We Love Reading program on their leadership skills and attitude.
- In addition to that we participated in the Learning Planet festival on the international reading day, by holding "A reading marathon for We Love Reading in multiple countries", where we hosted guests from several countries, Mexico, Kenya, Benin, and France, to share with us their experience in making a change in their societies through reading and implementing the We Love Reading program.
The Education Planet Festival, is held in cooperation with UNESCO and many organizations in more than 40 countries around the world.
Another event was held during the Education Planet Festival “Children and families reflection on the impact of Reading for fun (We Love Reading)” where we hosted a group of children with a family member to discuss how reading for fun affected their lives, the guest included young writers and talented children.
1- Theory of Change and Social Impact Measurement of We Love Reading
Main question: Does We Love Reading Program impact relational importance with children and motivation to lead?
We Love Reading (WLR) is a community-based intervention that combines intellectual stimulation and relational interaction with children through reading aloud to them. The role of a WLR ambassador can be a form of leadership in influencing children. Therefore, these WLR ambassadors can undergo an intensive change-maker journey that gives them an opportunity to develop their «possible self as a leader» internalizing a leader identity driven by the motivation to lead.
To assess this, we used a randomized controlled trial, where almost half of the participating women took WLR ambassadors training and the other half didn’t.
How the research was done?
215 Syrian and Jordanian women living in Amman took part in the study. We collected data at two time-points immediately before the intervention (T1), after 4 months (T2).
Key findings: We Love Reading and the relational importance
In the following Figure, at Time 2, participants in the treatment group (WLR Ambassadors) had higher perceived relational importance with children than the participants in the control group. The findings showed that the reading intervention for children created an opportunity and an environment for relations to be developed between the WLR Ambassadors and the children.
Key findings: Relational Importance and motivation to lead (MTL)
The Figure below shows that motivation to lead (MTLS) completely mediated the relationship between relational importance and leader Identity. The mediation effect indicates that the reading ambassadors› self-perceived sense of motivation to lead was the driving force behind their leadership identification. This finding is significant as it sheds light on the leadership development of non-prototypical leaders.
The development of a higher sense of relational importance Among WLR Ambassadors aligns with the mentoring literature, which suggests that positive human relations can be fostered through mentoring programs (Lyons & Perrewe, 2014; Lund et al., 2019).
Individuals who play supportive roles, contribute to the growth of others and witness this growth may develop a sense of leadership, positive relationships, and a further motivation to intensify their supporting role to other individuals.
Lund et al. (2019) discussed how developing a relational schema can influence social cognition, ultimately intensifying motivation to lead in supporting and developing the growth of others.
Dr. Rana Dajani: The Hashemite University
Dr. Susanna Chui: The Hang Seng University of Hong kong
2- Long-term evaluation of ”We Love Reading” program on Syrian children:
Main question: Does We Love Reading improve children’s literacy and attitudes toward reading?
Community-led, shared book-reading interventions have been shown to improve early childhood development and reduce inequity. There is limited research on their impact on refugees, but shared book-reading programs may be helpful in addressing some of the many educational challenges that Syrian refugee children in Jordan face.
How the research was conducted?
To assess this, we evaluated We Love Reading, a locally developed and implemented program in Jordan. We used a randomized controlled trial, where half of the participants took part in We Love Reading sessions for 12 weeks, and the other half did not.
322 Syrian refugee mothers and their 4-8-year-old children living in Amman and Zaatari camp took part in the study. We collected data at three time-points immediately before the intervention (T1), after 4 months (T2) and one year later (T3).
Key findings: We Love Reading and attitudes towards reading.
As seen in the figure below, and using the measure (PPCATR), children who took part in We Love Reading had more positive attitudes toward reading at T2.
At T3 ( One-year long-term evaluation) mothers of children who took part in WLR in 2021 continue to report higher levels of child attitudes toward reading a year later than mothers of kids in the control group.
Literacy levels among participating children are very low. Literacy is important to many aspects of children’s development and functioning; it is critical to address these low literacy rates, to enable the prosperity and future positive functioning of Syrian refugees in Jordan.
We Love Reading shows promise in improving children’s attitudes toward reading. Better attitudes toward reading may have many positive knock-on effects on children.
Rana Dajani: The Hashemite University
Amal Alkharouf: University of Jordan
Kristin Hadfield: Trinity College Dublin
Isabelle: Mareschal, Queen Mary University of London
Julia Michalek: Queen Mary University of London
Lina Qtaishat: Taghyeer Association
Sophie von Stumm: University of York
3- Social Networks, Empowerment, and Wellbeing: An Intervention Study with Syrian Refugee and Jordanian Women:
Main question: Are social networks associated with measures of empowerment, leadership, life satisfaction, and wellbeing? Does We Love Reading improve these outcomes for women?
Social networks characterize a set of interactions and relationships between people. They are often crucial to socioeconomic advancement.
However, intervention research has not rigorously tested whether they matter to women’s psychological empowerment and life satisfaction, especially in low-resource Middle-Eastern communities.
How the research was conducted?
In 2022-2023 we documented the social networks of 215 women in Amman (106 Syrian refugees, 109 Jordanians). , using mixed methods We conducted a randomized controlled trial, in which half the women participated in a single day of We Love Reading training, while the other half did not. We collected data before (baseline) and after (endline) the WLR training.
Key findings at baseline
Women listed between 0 and 13 close peers. Networks were, on average, smaller for Syrians (3.72 peers) than Jordanians (4.98 peers). They were homogeneous by nationality: the peers of Syrians were 89% Syrians; those of Jordanians were 94% Jordanian.
Network size was positively associated with measures of psychological empowerment, motivation to lead, and perceived social support. Women drew upon volunteer work to potentially diversify personal networks outside the home. They felt less empowered with smaller and predominantly kin-based networks.
Key findings at endline:
Preliminary analyses show that women’s sense of life satisfaction increased for women with larger net-work sizes (as shown in the graph below). Levels of life satisfaction and leadership motivation were both higher for women with more highly-educated peers.
With respect to the intervention, the life satisfaction and psychological wellbeing of women showed an increase in the We Love Reading group, from baseline to endline.
Preliminary analyses at the Endline results show that volunteering work diversified women’s personal networks outside the home.
The We Love Reading program shows promise to improve life satisfaction and wellbeing among women. We are continuing to study social networks, life satisfaction, and We Love Reading impacts with a 3rd round of data collection.
This study shows that building opportunities for women to socially interact and expand social ties helps to enhance their life satisfaction. This evidence matters to development initiatives seeking to foster women’s empowerment, wellbeing, and social inclusion.
Also, expanding opportunities for volunteer work is one way of empowering poor women to work, learn, and socially interact.
Catherine Panter-Brick: Yale University
Rana Dajani: The Hashemite University
Jannik Eggerman: Yale University
Praveen Kumar: Boston College
Quotes from our Ambassadors:
1- “This is voluntary work and I don't do it for money. I do it because this program helped me to find myself and my passion.
Dr. Rana Dajani didn't say "I" love reading she said "We" love reading, hence there is a participatory, interactive view. We all need to have a spirit of responsibility and a spirit of good citizenship wherever we are anywhere in the world, working for humanity, so, I cannot do anything on my own, but the principle of participatory is necessary. As for me in Jerash Governorate, I started looking for points that would strengthen me and enhance this wonderful program, so I went to the Directorate of Culture in Jerash Governorate to cooperate with public and private schools.
In another context of participatory, when I wrote my story for children, titled The Tree of Stories, I was searching for someone to help me with the drawings. We Love Reading introduced me to another We Love Reading Ambassador who's also an artist who did the paintings for my book.
I also participated in the national reading campaign which We Love Reading has launched in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture. I took part in the interactive book fair, and I contacted my fellow Ambassadors of We Love Reading, the inspiring and veteran Ms. Jamila Abu Melhem, from Jerash Governorate, and the teacher Mayassa Al-Aqili who teaches young children and tries to insert the love of reading in them. This participation is what strengthened our work, and we always emphasize the importance of teamwork that contributes to the sustainability and continuity of the We Love Reading program. “
Tamam Hiary our Ambassador in Jerash Governate during the Seminar “The journey of changemakers” that was held on 11-3-2023
2- "I am very happy to be part of this program and to be part of us the We Love Reading family, and I always say that an educated person should not only have intellectual stock and information, instead an educated human being is a person who can change and make change around him.
During my initiative entitled "Inspirations", we tried to change the stereotype about women, by selecting several models from women from diverse cultural backgrounds where the common factor was the love of reading, I was seeking to publicize the program We Love Reading."
Hadeel Yaseen our Ambassador in Aqaba Governate during the Seminar “The journey of changemakers” that was held on 11-3-2023
3- "I would like to convey my message to every woman, and man, Circumstances do not make an excuse, no matter what happens.
One of the most important challenges that I faced with regards reading was that I was special and I have a disease that affects one in every 1,000 children, as this disease constituted an obstacle in my life, but my love for reading helped me overcome it, as during my time in the hospital I used to read and when I got married and had children I transferred the love reading for my children."
I cooperated with public libraries and schools to launch my initiative "Todays reader is tomorrow leader" to encourge people to read with family member an to bring libraries to life."
Zohor Dghemat our Ambassador in Karak Governate during the Seminar “The journey of changemakers” that was held on 11-3-2023
4- "I work as an orthodontist and I've been conducting reading sessions in my clinic for years. The patient's journey with the orthodontist lasts a long time so use reading to alleviate the fear of children from the clinic by giving them the book and asking them about their favorite quotes and beloved characters in the book on the next visit."
Nora Odeh our Ambassador in Karak Governate during the Seminar “The journey of changemakers” that was held on 11-3-2023
5- “When I arrived in France from Jordan the first thing I started to do is gathering the children and hold reading sessions for them the same as I was doing in the Zaatari camp after receiving the We Love Reading training, however now I’m also working on an initiative that doesn’t only target Syrian refugees like my previous initiative but also targets all refugees around the world”
Asmaa Alrashed our Ambassador in FranceAttachments: