Meet Tomorrow’s Youth: Sarah
Sarah Kaplan, 18, from Deir Sharf, a village outside of Nablus, is a current volunteer in the Boys and Girls Soccer Club at TYO. Sarah is a current student at An-Najah University in Nablus and this is her first session as a volunteer at TYO.
What has been your favorite memory at TYO?
All my moments at TYO are beautiful but the most recent is during the Library Day when I saw the kids from the neighborhood coming to the library to read and do other activities. I was so happy to see energy in these kids and to see that they like reading! When I was young, I used to visit the library because I loved reading and if I was tired or angry, I could escape through reading. I know how valuable reading is and unfortunately we are not a reading community. So seeing those children coming to the library made me happy.
Why is volunteering important and why did you decide to volunteer?
I feel very responsible towards my community so that's why I make use of every free moment of my day - to volunteer and help others. Even when I volunteer at TYO, an American NGO, I am helping my kids who are the most needy. When I realize that I am making a change in their lives and I am the reason behind their smiles, I feel happy.
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing Palestinian youth?
Young people in Palestine need to prove themselves and showcase their capacities and their willingness to change and develop. But the challenge is that young people here don’t have the skills to represent themselves and express themselves so we need to learn more and develop our skills more so that we'll be ready to show the world that Palestinians are strong, determined people.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I am in my first year of university so I hope five years fom now I will finish my BA and MA. I will keep volunteering because at my age, I am still learning and discovering myself. But I hope that I will never become a Palestinian stereotype of a young married girl with many children. Education and being independent are my goals.
How do you think what you’ve learned at TYO will benefit you in the long run?
This marvelous organization added and will continue to add a lot to me. Volunteering at TYO is good for my CV. Every experience and every day I spend at TYO, I learn something new about myself and the world. This is the first work experience in my life and in such a short time, it's already been unforgettable.
This interview was translated by TYO's Outreach Coordinator, Futoon Qadri.