Volunteering with Jusoor during the 2015 summer program was by far the most enriching experience I have ever learnt from. I have created relations with people I probably would have never met elsewhere. I heard stories from teachers and children that helped me understand what life is about, especially under these harsh circumstances. Most importantly, I have worked along with several people to see a smile on children’s faces.
The program started with 3 days of orientation, where Jusoor’s team taught us how to deal with children. I felt more comfortable after spending few days learning and studying about the matter. I was prepared to face difficult situations where I usually would not have known how to react. Orientation sessions were truly helpful preparing volunteers on what to expect, what to do and how to react.
The first day of school was the most stressful. It was the first time I walked into a class as a teacher. I didn’t really know how to start with the children but local teachers there did a great job assisting us in managing the class well. It was really hard at the beginning to know exactly what to do, but over time I felt more comfortable knowing my students and focusing on what they need to learn. After the first day, it became easier for me to handle my class since I clearly understood how everything worked. The schedule was well structured, I had to teach my class 4 subjects: Arts, Sports, English and Social Skills. I had 3 hours a day where I really felt I had a daily task to do: Teach students something they will benefit from in their future lives. Few kids in my class had a low level of English and others found difficulties in communication or self-confidence. Getting closer to my students helped me understand what each one of them needed the most. By the end of the first week, I was really happy about what I was doing and I was really excited about what was coming next. I felt great being next to children I considered my younger friends, brothers and sisters by the end of the first week as our relationship got really close.
Social Skills classes used to be fun and interesting, we used to talk about ourselves and share our stories. It helped my students understand how to show positive manners and understand norms of social life. Sports class was the period where my students showed most interest. It was a period where they would use their energy and show their talents. Few students were really good at basketball at a really young age. Other students enjoyed playing games such as Dodgeball and other fun games. English classes were also helpful in teaching children English basics such as the alphabet, introduction, feelings, colors, and other simple vocabulary words.
My students were really good at Art, I had students with great drawing skills. One student was brilliant at using colors to demonstrate her imagination. Here is a picture of what my class did:
Students were extremely happy about what they have experienced during the first week of summer school. As a volunteer, I am extremely grateful to work with Jusoor helping those refugees in need and especially in the education field which is one of the most (if not the most) important topic. I am looking forward to start my second week and I hope these children one day will go back to their country safe and educated.
Children of today are heroes of tomorrow.
Mokhtar volunteered at Jusoor’s educational centers in Lebanon during July and August as part of the summer volunteer program.