Lana Abi Rached, Lebanon – France
Going every day to Bekaa from Beirut is tiring. You wake up at 6, wait for the bus, take this bus all the way to Bekaa for 2 hours, teach in Arabic for 4 hours and then go back all the way to Beirut. Sounds horrible doesn’t it? But it’s not. Every drop of sweat, every minute spent there, every single bus ride is worth it. Once you meet the kids and look at their smiles, everything else is meaningless. The only thing that matters is helping them. The same kid that looks for you to hug you at the end of the day to say “bye miss” will go back to a camp; a dirty, unsafe, sad camp. The harsh, true reality hits you in the face. The world is unfair.
As a volunteer, you feel helpless. You can’t do much on the great scheme of things. You therefore decide to focus on the smaller things, the things that matter on a human level.
You give everything you have during the day to try and make this child’s 4 hours at school as bright and joyful as possible.
You get to know each child and his story, how he lost half of his family and had to flee his home in a split second. You realize that even though they took everything from them, they couldn’t steal their innocence. It is beautiful to witness that a child is a child, regardless of who they are or how they’ve been raised. It’s humanity at its purest.