Meet Tomorrow's Youth: Najla’

Najla' VolunteerNajla’ Fathi Slaman, 25, from Zeita, is a current volunteer in the Core Child Program at TYO. This is Najla's first session at TYO.

What has been your favorite memory at TYO? 

TYO has been the first place that has given me the chance to work and to be around children and give them lots of love. In my first couple of weeks, I started volunteering in the sport class until the third week when I moved to the IT class. The day I switched, I didn’t imagine the amount of love I had been surrounded by. Some children started crying because they wanted me to stay with them in their class. I was glad to see I had made an impression on these kids.

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

My father forced me to drop school before I could finish high school and I stayed at home, doing nothing. But I continued to read a lot to educate myself. But I knew that reading alone wasn't enough. I needed to go out and see people and learn from experiences in my community. So when I decided to come to TYO, I was looking for a way out of my personal situation and for a chance at educating myself and developing my skills because. TYO is a very generous place and deals with everyone equally. They believe in the individual and her ability to give to the community and can look past her educational level.

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

Young people in Palestine - mainly the females - are deprived from their rights like education. I will never understood why my brother can go study, while I can't. I firmly believe that education is a right for every one.

Where do you see yourself in five years? 

Even though I've been forced to drop school, I insist on continuing to learn and I will start working towards finishing high school soon. I feel like I've wasted enough time from my life but it's not too late for me to get my higher education. I will succeed, go to university and work to serve my community. I believe in myself and I know that I can do it.

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

TYO gave me hope and a drive to push towards the future. During this short period of time, I've managed to become a leader in the class and I have learned how to express myself.  Now, I know that I have the courage to finish my schooling.

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