Councillors Teresa Rilling and Megan Hanson are pictured among the volunteers who went to Jordan to help municipalities in various areas as peer support. Photo Courtesy of Teresa Rilling Facebook

Councillors Teresa Rilling and Megan Hanson are pictured among the volunteers who went to Jordan to help municipalities in various areas as peer support. Photo Courtesy of Teresa Rilling Facebook

Sylvan Lake councillors volunteer to help municipalities in Jordan

Councillors Megan Hanson and Teresa Rilling recently returned from a volunteer trip to Jordan

Two Sylvan Lake Town Councillors have recently returned from a peer mentorship program in Jordan.

Coun. Megan Hanson and Teresa Rilling volunteered with the Jordan Municipal Support Project where they worked helping Jordanian municipalities with strategic planning.

Through the project, Canadian and Jordanian municipal practitioners provide peer-to-peer assistance in various areas to elected officials and municipal staff.

Along with assistance in strategic planning, Hanson said volunteers also worked in the areas of waste management and gender equality.

“One thing we learned was how lucky we are to have gender equality,” Hanson said. “The men essentially ran the table.”

She continued to say it was interesting for the Jordanians to have female elected officials help them with strategic planning.

Rilling said the two, along with Rob Simonds the CAO from Colchester, NS, travelled to two different municipalities in Jordan, Aqaba and Amman, and worked with a total of five communities on the subject of strategic planning.

“I think we learned a lot from each other. This showed that we both face similar issues and it helped to build a trust,” said Rilling.

Rilling and Hanson worked with three smaller, lower income municipalities in Jordan where strategic planning was very new to them.

The two other municipalities were larger and had more to work with when it came to strategic planning.

Hanson said for the larger communities they worked with them to fine tune their plans, while the smaller communities the volunteers guided the process and introduced the idea of strategic planning.

“Some of the communities didn’t have a strategic plan in place, so one of the things we worked on was why it was important,” Hanson said.

Rilling said before work could be done on strategic planning, relationships and trust had to be built between the Jordanians and the volunteers.

“We have to work through a translator so it took some time to build that trust and for us to get used to,” Rilling said.

Hanson said one thing she took away from the experience was how everyone in Jordan was an “expert in tourism.”

She said every person she met, whether through volunteering or taking a cab to a new location, was excited to share their town with others.

“That was something I really took away, was how excited they all were to share their town with us,” said Hanson.

The Jordan Municipal Support Project is a five year project implemented by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities in collaboration with Jordan’s Ministry of Local Administration.

Twelve Jordanian municipalities participated in the project, which is funded by Global Affairs Canada.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Town of Sylvan Lake. File Photo
Sylvan Lake Town Council proposes no municipal tax increase in 2021 budget

The Town says the current state of the economy played a key factor in the deliberation process.

Sylvan Lake Fire Department respond to a call at Fox Run School, Jan. 27. (Photo by Sean Mathieson)
UPDATED: Fire department responds to mechanical belt malfunction at Sylvan Lake School

Students at Fox Run and Mother Teresa are asked to stay home, bused students will be taken home

The external wall of the Bentley Post Office was destroyed when a semi drove into the building, resulting is an estimated $50,000 in damages. (Photo Submitted)
Sylvan Lake RCMP lay charges in post office destruction

One suspect is in custody the second suspect has a warrant for his arrest

Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said the province still hopes to bring the hospitalization number down before relaxing restrictions. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
14 new deaths, 366 new COVID-19 cases in Alberta

Province nearing 100K COVID-19 vaccine doses administered

Mom’s Diner owner Wesley Langlois has joined a growing number of Alberta restaurants that are allowing sit-in dining despite public health restrictions. Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff
Red Deer diner joins sit-down dining protest

Mom’s Diner has joined a growing list of Alberta restaurants flouting health restrictions

Young hockey players were out on Bentley Tuesday for a march to a support a return to sports. (Photo courtesy of Bobby McKinlay)
(Kraft Dinner/Twitter)
Kraft Dinner launches candy-flavoured mac and cheese just in time for Valentine’s Day

Sweet and cheesy treat will be here just in time for the cheesiest holiday of the year

In this undated image made from a video taken by the Duke of Sussex and posted on @SaveChildrenUK by the Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, shows the Duchess of Sussex reading the book “Duck! Rabbit!” to their son Archie who celebrates his first birthday on Wednesday May 6, 2020. The Canadian Paediatric Society is reminding families that the process of raising a reader starts from birth. (Duke of Sussex/@SaveChildrenUK)
Canadian Paediatric Society says raising a reader starts from birth

CPS says literacy is one of the strongest predictors of lifelong health outcomes

Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion Minister Carla Qualtrough responds to a question during a news conference Thursday August 20, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Easing rules for parental benefits created inequities among parents, documents say

Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough’s office says the government will make any necessary changes

People walk along a pedestrianized zone of Sainte-Catherine street in Montreal, Monday, May 18, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. Newly released statistics point to a major drop in police-recorded crime during the first eight months of the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Crime down in first 8 months of pandemic, but mental health calls rise: StatCan

The agency says violent crimes such as assault dropped significantly

(Photo submitted)
Central Alberta researchers recognized for studies in agricultural sciences

Jessica Sperber of Ponoka and David MacTaggart of Lacombe awarded prestigious scholarship

FILE – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivers his opening remarks at a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Tuesday, January 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine CEO ‘very, very clear’ that Canada’s contracts will be honoured: Trudeau

Trudeau says he spoke to Moderna CEO on the morning of Jan. 26

Most Read