LEAP Testimonials: Amith

LEAP Testimonials: Amith

From October through December 2017, I served as the sole teaching volunteer for the LEAP ASPIRE program. In addition to being a valuable program for the community, the experience was personally and emotionally profound for myself as a teacher.

Obtaining comprehension of the English language at an early age is vital for Palestinian students to have access to what limited opportunities exist for them in exile. Through the ASPIRE program, I taught English to children (ages 3 to 9) in the Bourj al Shamale Refugee Camp full time. With the help of my co-teachers, Salma, Rawan, Asma, and Sawsan, I taught 4 English classes during the day, tutored students who were behind in their classes, and led 3 afterschool English language programs. I saw almost all the students involved in the program begin to pick up strong English skills after the first month!

Some aspects of the program were emotionally difficult for me. While I was growing closer to my students, co-teachers, and staff, Donald Trump and his Israeli counterparts were drastically escalating their war on the Palestinian people. What was normally a political issue became increasingly personal during my time in the camp. But  the community was hardly submissive or pliant. I witnessed how Palestinians in the Shatat in Lebanon continue to express solidarity for their national liberation — with or without the assistance of westerners — through mass mobilization, demonstrations, and organizing.

I would strongly recommend the ASPIRE program to individuals who are looking for a concrete way of assisting the Palestinian refugee community. While assisting youth in obtaining the important skill of English language comprehension, you are able to build close personal relationships with the members of the Palestinian community in Lebanon. The program is often grueling and difficult; however, it was undeniably worth its price.


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LEAP Program

LEAP is a grassroots volunteer program established to provide educational empowerment projects to support the intellectual growth and creative curiosity of refugee-youth in Lebanon so they may become agents of change. As an apolitical humanitarian US-based organization, LEAP aims to raise awareness about the plight of Palestinian refugees in general, but particularly in Lebanon, to American volunteers.

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