Our story began in the early 1950’s, after the families of our founding members fled from Palestine to Jordan in 1948. It is a story of a handful of young men who sensed a patriotic and religious duty to fill the gap in spiritual guidance available at the time for the Orthodox Christian community, drawing from their own knowledge and with what little resources they had.
In 1953, the growing group decided to form the “Orthodox Sunday Schools Society” to better organize their work, but registration was unsuccessful.
As their work expanded, new goals were added, including the aim of establishing educational institutions such as kindergartens, schools and higher educational establishments. In 1956, they applied for registration again, under the name of “The Orthodox Educational Society” (OES). The Bylaws were officially set and signed by the OES founding members on July 16, 1957. OES was registered as a non-governmental charitable organization in the Jordanian Ministry of Social Affairs on January 7, 1958.
The OES family began its work formally. Committees were formed with specific roles and responsibilities to ensure a well-structured, coordinated effort among all volunteers, in line with the OES bylaws and goals. Elected Boards of Directors included some of the Orthodox Christian community’s most prominent, renowned and intellectual figures. We began establishing schools: the National Orthodox School and Wahbeh Tamari Kindergarten in Shmaisani and the National Orthodox School and Kindergarten in Ashrafiyeh, in addition to schools that were opened across Jordan at different periods of time.
We also began to provide scholarships and financial aid to students, as well as financial and in-kind aid to limited-income families; and we began holding annual goodwill charity campaigns and cultural and social events.
OES rapidly earned a distinguished place in the world of NGOs, locally, regionally and internationally for its committed and professional work and high-quality services. It opened channels of cooperation with NGOs and educational institutions in other countries such as Palestine, Lebanon, Russia, Greece and others. In 1972, OES became a working member in the World Fellowship of Orthodox Youth (SYNDESMOS).