LEAP Testimonials: Frank

LEAP Testimonials: Frank

The LEAP volunteer experience has so many rich dimensions to it.

While there is the common goal of teaching English in order to improve the lives of refugee kids in the camps, each of us came with expectations and motives refracted through our own personal stories. For me, the experience brought a sense of connection, purpose and joy to my life. This came from the children whom I taught, and the volunteers who became my family for six weeks. I found myself to be also a student, learning and growing.

Yes, there are some challenges. The muggy and hot weather. The intermittent loss of electricity (and hence loss of the cooling fans). The cramped and uncomfortable living spaces. But there are wonderful elements too! Spectacular sunsets. Swimming with sea turtles in the Mediterranean, every day if so desired. Of course who could forget the Lebanese food? If you’re really lucky, on a muggy night like any other, you’ll hear one of your students who happens to live a few buildings down the street, spontaneously playing the melody, on her saxophone, of a song that you taught her in music class. A tear may roll down your cheek with a big smile and know that the universe is telling you, beyond any doubt, that you are supposed to be here, now. And yes, the experience can be THAT profound.

If you’ve never done this before, I can’t think of any organization that is better than LEAP at equipping its volunteers with every necessary need. Don’t know Arabic? You’ll most likely be teaching students who already know English. They are some of the most talented and brightest students you’ll ever meet. And if that doesn’t comfort you, your co-teacher/helper from the camps – who is assigned to each volunteer, will be there to support you. You may even form bonds and friendships that formed across cultures and thousands of kilometers. And your heart may break when it’s time for you to leave. But honestly, you never really leave. The experience becomes an enduring part of you, always present and always a highlight of your life.


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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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