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The summer experience of two volunteers

For our summer and during one month, we have choosen – Eleonora and Safa, to volunteer at Lajee Center.

Our first engagement was for the Summer Camp 2019. It started on Wednesday 17th of July and took place in the Lajee Center. The Center has a football field, a playground, a library, a rooftop and several work rooms where different activities took place.

The day started at 8:30 am in the football field where the children were used to sing the national anthem and other summer camp’s  songs. During the day the children are divided into different groups according to their age and they do various activities (painting sessions, English lessons, dance classes and some sport). The activities ended at 1 pm after a lunch break all together, of course not without some dehiya dance!

We had also some trips outside the camp. The first one took place in the Water Land in Jericho, where children had fun swimming and diving into the water. The children also enjoyed a day hiking in Al Makhrour thanks to which they could admire the beauty of the Palestinian landscape. We had also a day in Caritas park in Bethlehem and for the last day we went to Mukhmas Funland in Ramallah.  

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The Summer Camp officially ended on the 4th of August with the final show. With the volunteers help the children prepared different performances such as dance, theater, gymnastic, reading poems and singing. Their parents and relatives enjoyed the evening!

During the entire Summer Camp, the children enjoyed the time with their friends and they were always involved in the activities both the creative ones and the physical ones.  They also helped cleaning the camp in order to make it a beautiful place to live in. They learned group work and they were also able to listen to the volunteers and learn from them.

This Summer Camp gave the children the possibility to express themselves and learn while having fun with the others.

Meet Eleanor: I’m an Italian student from Turin and I came to Lajee center thanks to an international organization called FFIPP. The aim of this organization is to make young people be aware of the situation in Palestine, getting in touch Palestinians, listening to their stories and their experiences of their everyday life. 

In Lajee Center I was charged of taking photos of the activities during the Summer Camp for the children and posting them on their Facebook page.

Since I don’t speak Arabic, it has been a bit difficult to interact with the children, especially with the youngest ones. At the same time, I think I’ve learned another way to communicate with them, which is not verbal, but it’s made of smiles. The kids helped me learning a bit of Arabic, and I hope that I thought them a bit of English too.

I’m grateful for the time spent here thanks also to the volunteers who welcomed me and made me feel as part of their community. Singing and dancing with them and with the children was the greatest time here, because I could get in touch directly with the Palestinian culture while having fun with these fantastic people.

Meet Safaa: My name is Safaa and I am part of the educational program in Palestine called FFIPP. As a Moroccan girl living in Paris I had the chance to be part of the Summer Camp organized by the Lajee Center. This was a unique opportunity where I learned so much from the kids and the volunteers we worked with. Working with the kids in Aida Camp has taught me a lot and allowed me to question myself. Each child was special in his way of thinking, of taking care of the others, of helping and playing.

This experience was more than a random internship but I really felt connected to those children, and felt as a member of their family. Also the activities that are proposed by the Center are really various and they helped me improve my skills as I had to adapt to each different situation. The people working in Lajee Center were so kind with me and helped me feel like I was one of them. We shared a lot of good memories together and they were always trying to help me. This summer camp also helped me improve my speaking Arabic and I learned a lot of new words that are used especially in the area. We had also the chance to share some moments with the International people as we spent the night in the desert together, preparing food and singing.

Finally, I really want to thank all the people working in Lajee Center for their kindness and patience, all the kids for the love they gave us and everyone who helped us make this internship one of the best experience in my life. I really hope that I will come back again. Thank you for everything.

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