Meet Tomorrow's Youth: Hassan

Hassan Volunteer

Hassan Abu Leil, 26, from Balata refugee camp, is a current volunteer in the Core Child Program at TYO. This is Rawan's first session at TYO.

What has been your favorite memory at TYO? 

I'm a new volunteer and I've only been working with the children for three weeks. So for me, everything is still new as I learn about the children, their issues and their lives. But in general, I am enjoying the joy they bring to the building. I like when they jump up and down with excitement and when they line up for classes. I'm also glad to see them have a healthy appetite. They especially love the lentil soup and always ask for more!

Why is volunteering important and why did you decide to volunteer?

I studied Social Development at Al-Quds Open University in Nablus and the type of psychosocial programming that TYO does, is at the heart of my studies. I came here because it's my biggest hope to be able to translate my theoretical study, into something practical that can put me in direct contact with my community. Through volunteering, I am gaining more practice, learning lessons and being a part of real development.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing Palestinian youth?

Unemployment is a huge issue we face - especially among recent university graduates. Besides unemployment, the voice of Palestinian youth is not heard in the community. Our needs are not heard by anyone. We should be the decision makers of the future but we have a reputation of being the troublemakers.

Where do you see yourself in five years? 

It's hard to think in the future when you're unsure about the future of your society. But I hope to get my master's degree after I get a job that can help me pay for higher education.

How do you think what you’ve learned at TYO will benefit you in the long run?

At TYO, I have already gained more friends. The veteran TYO volunteers have more experience than me and we're always exchanging knowledge and experiences, which further develops my social life. Also, by observing teachers in the classrooms, I am learning how to deal with stress, think on my feet and how to handle different children. I see the teachers as my models and I enjoy learning from them.

This interview was translated by TYO's Outreach Coordinator, Futoon Qadri.