A Big Thanks to All Our Volunteers
Each intern works with a local translator and team of local volunteers in order to provide the kids with the best experience possible. The experience is beneficial for volunteers as well. Many have not had jobs before and so are learning about commitment, responsibility, professionalism, and others important skills. Volunteering itself is also an unfamiliar concept for many Palestinians. The idea of freely contributing to one's community is a value TYO is trying to build through their volunteering program. The program also allows for intercultural interactions between Palestinians and Americans, with everyone working toward a new level of understanding and collaboration. Elizabeth and Debra teach Summer Camp Art and Sports, respectively, for 11 and 12 year olds. Within this team, there are two classes of nearly twenty kids each that rotate between Elizabeth’s class and Debra’s class. Between the two classes, there is only one male volunteer. There is always an important need for male volunteers to be alongside female volunteers in the classrooms. In this way, the kids can see firsthand how men and women can work together and have local role models. In Debra’s class, Imad is that sole male volunteer. He is able to connect with the boys in the class and is wonderful at encouraging the kids to try new activities. He is also a returning volunteer. Since he has spent time in intern classrooms before, he is able to assist his fellow volunteers in building their skills.
The majority of our volunteers are university-aged women, but it is important to recognize that our volunteers can come from anywhere. Maha, a volunteer from Elizabeth’s class, comes to TYO with a very different perspective and unique set of experiences. She is not a young university student, but rather a middle-aged woman with four children of her own. As a mother with years of hands-on experience, Maha brings both wisdom and love to the classroom. Maha is proof that anytime is a good time to volunteer, and that anyone can use their special skills to benefit the kids at TYO.