North and South
Az-Zarqā is a city in Jordan located 15 miles to the northeast of Amman. Zarqa is the capital of Zarqa Governorate, positioned in the Zarqa River basin in northeast Jordan. Zarqa comes from the Roman word for “dusty” due to its location in a dry sandy desert. The city of Zarqa was established by immigrants from the Caspian Sea region at the beginning of the twentieth century, initially on the banks of the Zarqa River, the population grew steadily with the construction of the Hejaz railway by the Ottomans. The bases of the Jordanian army, formerly called the Arab Legion, were located in Zarqa.
Today Zarqa exists as a refugee city outside of Amman, Jordan, made up of middle and low-income workers, with a very high unemployment crisis. Of a population of 1 million, about 20,000 are Christian and of these only 8,000 are Latin Catholics. The Western Lieutenancy has directly supported both schools since 2003. Our mission is to invest in the educational future of the Zarqa students by providing educational facilities, materials, and financial support for the students. The Lieutenancy has in the past provided: new computers, labs, library, repair and maintenance of infrastructure, backpacks, gym clothes, sweaters, and school supplies.
The Latin Patriarchate School
The parish of Twelve Apostles was established in 1956 by Father Mario Furlan, an Italian, who also established a small Kindergarten in a one-room ground-floor facility with accommodation for the priest above. In 1963, with the financial help of the German Lieutenancy, Father Tareq Hijazin was able to build a new church and relocate the Kindergarten to new buildings across the street. After improvements from 1962-70 the school now consists of 23 classrooms with a library, art and music rooms, computer and science labs and administrative offices. Kindergarten through 8th grade consists of both boys and girls; 9th grade is girls only. The staff consists of 2 priests, 3 sisters and 40 lay teachers. The school can accommodate over 800 students.
In spite of the growth in accommodations and staff, Zarqa North classrooms are poorly stocked with the basic supplies needed for learning.
The Latin Patriarchate School
Zarqa South’s students come mostly from the ‘refugee camps’ in the surrounding area. The camps now consist of permanent, low quality buildings and were established before Saint Pius X parish in 1949.
At its foundation, the school consisted of one hall divided into three classrooms by partitions, which were removed for the weekly Mass. With the building of the new church, partitions were replaced permanent walls allowing for three Classrooms for lower grades from Kindergarten to 9th grade. The accommodation for the Rosary Sisters that serve as teachers is now above these rooms. The staff includes a Principal, 15 female teachers, three Administrative Assistants and two Kindergarten teachers, along with a Consultation room with a counseling professional.
Most Zarqa South students come from unemployed or low-income families. Further, many of the children have experienced traumatizing events due to both living conditions and constant socio-political turmoil in the area.
EOHSJ and Zarqa Schools
The Western Lieutenancy has directly supported both schools since 2003. Our mission is to invest in the educational future of the Zarqa students by providing educational facilities, materials, and financial support for the students. The Lieutenancy has in the past provided: new computers, labs, library, repair and maintenance of infrastructure, backpacks, gym clothes, sweaters, and school supplies.
In 2016 both Zarqa Schools received 450 backpacks valued at $6,000. This was made possible by the Knights and Ladies of the Salt Lake City Area. A special thanks to Sir Fred and Lady Pam Strasser and all of the members who participated in this event. We would like to thank Sir Carlos and Lady Patti Cuellar for organizing the backpacks and school supply requests since 2005.
As a Lieutenancy, we will continue to support our students with the educational resources necessary to enhance their education. A current project seeks support and funding for the “Jacket Project” to provide winter jackets to students. A special project focus is to fully fund the Summer School program at both schools. Each year, summer camps provide 600 Christian and Muslim boys and girls the opportunity to participate in sports, arts, drama, volunteer work, music, and catechism in a safe environment. (Local parks that we take for granted are very scarce in Zarqa). In honor of our late past Lieutenant, H.E. William H. Davidson, who had a special love for helping the Children the Zarqa Schools, the Lieutenancy has established the Davidson Endowment to support the summer camps at the Zarqa schools.
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As a Lieutenancy, we will continue to support our students with the educational resources necessary to enhance their education.
Please help out this important ministry by donating or sponsoring the project.