It’s the fourth day of the Jusoor summer volunteer program, and I have already become so attached to everything about this place. The children, who manage to drive me crazy while constantly putting a smile on my face. The wonderful, hardworking volunteers who are just a continuous reminder that there are still some good people in the world. The incredible organizers and directors of the program who put their sweat and blood into everything they do, always giving 110%.
I definitely won’t sit here and talk about how I came to help these children, because the truth is, I’m not helping them. They’re helping me. They teach me kindness, patience, perseverance, optimism, and to always have hope. I am reminded everyday to be humble, accepting and always thankful. In our current world, when we discuss refugees, it is always in a negative light. However, just talking to one of these kids, hearing the hope they have for the future, seeing the spark in their eyes when you ask them a question about their favorite food, is enough to erase that negativity, and to realize that they are just humans trying to survive.
On the first day of teaching, I came in nervous and excited. I wasn’t quite sure of my place in the classroom or how the children would react to a stranger being there. However it went surprisingly well. These children, who were rejected by almost everyone and everything, somehow managed to be the most accepting people. By the end of the day I had developed a love towards these kids that is indescribable. Yamen, a young Syrian boy at the school came up to me during break time and said “Good Morning!” I replied, asking if he spoke English. The excitement that came over him was tremendous. He rushed over to me and asked me to speak to him in English. Soon I had a whole audience of kids trying to figure out what “what do you want to be when you grow up?” means.