Meet Tomorrow’s Youth: Mahmoud
Mahmoud Saleh, 22, from Aseera outside of Nablus, is a current volunteer in the Core Child Program at TYO. Mahmoud is a current student at An-Najah National University and this is his first session as a volunteer at TYO.
What has been your favorite memory at TYO?
Because of the hour-long lectures at the University and because of my part-time job, my first two weeks of volunteering at TYO were so stressful and I decided to leave the organization and postpone volunteering for later sessions when I had less on my plate. When I told one of the little girls in my class that I was leaving for the session, she was so upset and she begged me to stay because she likes my presence in the class and I quickly changed my mind. This moment of innocence and seeing the true feelings from a child towards me made me believe that we as volunteers are of great value for the children at TYO. I am so glad I'm still here.
Why is volunteering important and why did you decide to volunteer?
I love volunteering and I have been a volunteer in many different NGOs for many years. We as youth lack concrete experience - outside of the classroom at university - that many employers depend on and look for. I know that the more years of experience I have, the higher my opportunity will be for getting a job. Also, I love children so I decided to volunteer at TYO because its programs are the core of my major and studies at the University.
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing Palestinian youth?
Our biggest challenge is in finding a job. It’s a nightmare after graduation. We start thinking about this challenge and start looking for a job in our last year of our studies - even before graduation. We are always seeing the previous year's graduates and their misery of being unemployed, still depending on their parents for their daily expenses.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
To tell the truth, I can’t really think about five years from now. Sometimes my short-term dreams are not coming true so it's hard to think about the future. But I hope I can continue my studies, get a master’s degree, be settled in my life, have a job and a small family. Those are my big dreams under the current situation in Palestine.
How do you think what you’ve learned at TYO will benefit you in the long run?
As I mentioned, TYO's work is at the heart of my studies at An-Najah University. I also study Arabic Language Teaching Methods so learning special techniques in dealing with children, as well as understanding the importance of non-formal education in a classroom, will help me a lot when I graduate and become a teacher.
This interview was translated by TYO's Outreach Coordinator, Futoon Qadri.