Youth in Focus: An interview with Ramsis Hijazi

Volunteer Ramsis poses witith kids in the intern program Ramsis Hijazi, a volunteer in the International Internship Program and a current IT student at An-Najah National University shares his experience as a TYO volunteer.

When did you start volunteering at TYO?

I started volunteering in the summer of 2013- about 11 months ago. I’ve really enjoyed my experience here so I plan to reapply as volunteer at TYO next semesters until I graduate.

How did you learn about TYO?

I learned about Tomorrow's Youth Organization from the President's Assistant in the Graduate Affairs Office at An Najah University. I was always involved in many activities there, so they told me about the opportunity of volunteering at TYO and they suggested I may be interested to volunteering at Tomorrow's Youth Organization.

Please describe the program you're assisting with at TYO.

Currently I’m working with interns from the International Internship Program. Together we lead classes for children from 4th-8th grade. We teach the children English skills through play based educational activities. Learning retention is high when kids are enjoying themselves in the classes.

What about the volunteer experience keeps you coming back to TYO?

Volunteering at TYO is has helped me to gain experience in teamwork and leadership. I've also spent a lot of time honing my problem solving skills by mediating minor conflicts between the children. Moreover, I developed my communication skills by working with a team including national and international volunteers. Honestly, I feel very comfortable being at TYO; it is not only a safe place for the children- which is a much needed element in the Nabulsi community- but it is also a safe place for me. It makes me really happy to see the children happy and have that space, especially that I didn't have it when I was a child growing up in Balata Refugee Camp.

What is your favorite thing about being a volunteer?

I like the feeling of self-satisfaction because I feel that I'm doing something helpful. As a person who experienced the difficult life in the camps, I know what it means for a camp child to have this space where they get care from everybody. The skills we teach them through fun activities are essential for their life.  Moreover, I appreciate the chance where I got to know interns from different cultures and develop my English language skills.

How has this experience benefited you?

Volunteering at TYO has benefited me in several ways. First of all, professionally, I’ve developed my team-work skills because I got the chance to lead groups of children in the classroom and work within a team. I also wrote my CV after being hesitant for 3 years, and I feel I'm more prepared for my future job in terms of working under the supervision of somebody because I'm now working under the supervision of the volunteer coordinator and the class teacher. I'm more confident now to behave professionally when I get a job.

Interview conducted by Ruba

This program - as part of Student Training and Employment Program (STEP!) - is sponsored in part by the Abdul Hamid Shoman Foundation.