Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Community Service in Jordan - Students Speak Out

 Tweens and teens. We so often associate young people in these age groups with words like “taciturn,” “grumpy,” “dramatic,” and “shortsighted.” So, I knew that I was talking with an exceptional group of young people about a truly amazing social service project, when they responded to my questions with thought, poise, and eloquence far beyond their years.

During the course of my visit to Asamiah International School, I have the privilege of sitting with Farah Abughosh (Age11), Saad Shaban (Age 13), Abdallatif Sleib (Age 15), and Hala Al-Hijjawi (Age 14). I ask the small group what they find valuable about community service. Their current project involves delivering food, home, and educational materials – all specifically requested by the local community – to residents of the village of Burbeita in the south of Jordan.

“It teaches students to be thankful,” Hala offers in quiet, thoughtful tone. Student council president Abdallatif builds on this comment. “We gain perspective about our own world. Our community is small, and we don’t know a lot about our own country… Our school physically involves us in this project. It’s our own touch. We know that we’re helping and supporting our community in our own way, even if it’s in a small way. The whole Jordanian community”

These projects provide priceless and critical opportunities for exchange between Jordanians from different social groups, regions, economic classes, and educational levels. They facilitate the interaction and dialogue that can too often remain absent from the lives of young Amman residents. To learn more about the role of community service in Asamiah School's mission and pedagogy, as well as its meaning for Asamiah students, check out the January issue of Family Flavours. 

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