Taking Back the Streets

الثلاثاء 22 تموز 2008

Kids cleaning their street

Written By Mariam A. Adas and Ramsey Tesdell

AMMAN – What does one do when your neighborhood, the place you live and play in, fills up with trash? For one thing, you don’t wait for the municipality to do something. For a handful of youngsters in Ashrafiyya, the best way to clean up their neighborhood was to do it themselves.

On a dead-end street in a neighborhood of Ashrafiyya in South Amman, trash covered the ground.  The street was filled with leftover construction materials and various people dumping the trash from their home in the street. The situation only mildly improved when the municipality placed a dumpster roughly a year ago.

Ameen Sanjaqieh brought the neighborhood together under the slogan “Clean at Home, Clean everywhere.” Sanjaqieh, Yeasin and Muhammed are the main forces behind the initiative, both 16. “There is only one street sweeper that comes through, and he doesn’t do that good of a job. We decided that we needed to help.”

Not only do the kids think that cleaning up their neighborhood was a good things to do, but it also helped them realize that most of the trash was coming from their own homes. This realization led to the group placing their trash in the dumpster instead of on the ground.

Farah, 9, said that now, after helping clean up her neighborhood, she doesn’t throw her trash on the street, Yeasinbut takes a few extra steps and tosses in the dumpster.

“Before this work,” Farah told 7iber.com, “I threw my garbage on the ground, but now, I don’t.”

Yeasin added, “We cleaned up because we wanted to have a clean and safe place to play. It only made sense that we cleaned up ourselves.”

The project has impacted the kids on different levels; they help keep their neighborhood clean and have developed a sense of investment in their community. When deciding to clean up, they took the street back as their own.

The mothers of the kids are very supportive of their children’s efforts. Previously, before the street had a dumpster, the mothers would send their kids to take out the trash, and there wasn’t a dumpster. Where else would the trash go but on the street?

Nadia’a Mirdia, the woman supporting the kids says she has offered only a little help, but most of the initiative came from the kids themselves.

“If people came to work on a house, they would leave the debris on the side of the street,” Yeasin told 7iber.com. “Once, a family ate fish for dinner and threw the remains on the street and it attracted cats of all Amman. After this project, we won’t let things like that happen again.”

The Whole Team

  • This is a good story! Keep them coming 🙂 .

  • This is a good story! Keep them coming 🙂 .

  • Kyle Rippey

    This is the kind of story worth reading. Kids have the incredible ability to create community and take action.

  • Kyle Rippey

    This is the kind of story worth reading. Kids have the incredible ability to create community and take action.

  • I wish I was there with you guys when you did that story! Great job!

  • I wish I was there with you guys when you did that story! Great job!

  • Moe freij

    its the amazing ability to do such a great job like this, that they wont wait the municipality to do something. They did it themselves, and they were not asking for anything back. they did something, and we all need to do something for our community and ourselves.

    great work, ramsey.
    keep going.

  • Moe freij

    its the amazing ability to do such a great job like this, that they wont wait the municipality to do something. They did it themselves, and they were not asking for anything back. they did something, and we all need to do something for our community and ourselves.

    great work, ramsey.
    keep going.

  • Mariam and Ramsey, well done! This is my favorite kind of story. 🙂

  • Mariam and Ramsey, well done! This is my favorite kind of story. 🙂

  • We are proud of you guys, we do beleive that you can make all the difference.
    Thank you for this precious lesson.
    We do beleive in the YOUNG CITIZENS of Amman
    🙂

  • We are proud of you guys, we do beleive that you can make all the difference.
    Thank you for this precious lesson.
    We do beleive in the YOUNG CITIZENS of Amman
    🙂

  • We really enjoyed working on this story. Those Kids were totally hillarius, sweet and full of life! it was an absolute treat to talk to them.

  • We really enjoyed working on this story. Those Kids were totally hillarius, sweet and full of life! it was an absolute treat to talk to them.

  • Tuesday was by far one of the worst days I’ve had all year and boy was I grumpy and couldn’t shake it off. I took a 2 hour evening walk to decompress, but still had a frown when I got home. I read this story shortly after, and it was like the miracle cure. A slap in the face about all the good stuff that makes your heart smile, and the little stuff that makes a world of difference. In 5 minutes my entire attitude was transformed. Thanks to these kids who get it and are leading the change, and thank you for the story!

  • Tuesday was by far one of the worst days I’ve had all year and boy was I grumpy and couldn’t shake it off. I took a 2 hour evening walk to decompress, but still had a frown when I got home. I read this story shortly after, and it was like the miracle cure. A slap in the face about all the good stuff that makes your heart smile, and the little stuff that makes a world of difference. In 5 minutes my entire attitude was transformed. Thanks to these kids who get it and are leading the change, and thank you for the story!

  • that’s just heart warming 🙂

  • that’s just heart warming 🙂

  • Ola

    Hats off…

  • Ola

    Hats off…

  • dana

    Impressing!!
    Such children are our hope for change in the society. I hope we see more of this!
    Great job, kids !

  • dana

    Impressing!!
    Such children are our hope for change in the society. I hope we see more of this!
    Great job, kids !

  • They should be rewarded and honored on a national level

  • They should be rewarded and honored on a national level

  • Beautiful! Until the day when we all head to the streets of Jordan with our cleaning supplies!

  • Beautiful! Until the day when we all head to the streets of Jordan with our cleaning supplies!

  • You see, they just have to experience the relief and beauty of having a clean neighborhood, and then they won’t want to go back to the “old way.” Kids power rocks!

    I need to motivate the kids in Wadi al Haddadeh. Anyone want to help?

  • You see, they just have to experience the relief and beauty of having a clean neighborhood, and then they won’t want to go back to the “old way.” Kids power rocks!

    I need to motivate the kids in Wadi al Haddadeh. Anyone want to help?

  • Aynur

    Well, I wish this will go on, each other’s help! With this we can grow a better community instead of hanging in the streets doing nothing but fooling around and stalking girls! Eh, I don’t think male world will help us in such activities! They would rather watch. No offence! 🙂

  • Aynur

    Well, I wish this will go on, each other’s help! With this we can grow a better community instead of hanging in the streets doing nothing but fooling around and stalking girls! Eh, I don’t think male world will help us in such activities! They would rather watch. No offence! 🙂

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  • mahmoud mordaa

    اشكركم جزيل الشكر على الهمة و النشاط و اتمنى لكم دوما التقدم و النجاح

  • mahmoud mordaa

    اشكركم جزيل الشكر على الهمة و النشاط و اتمنى لكم دوما التقدم و النجاح

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