Category: Reviews

“Volunteering at the Aida Youth Centre and spending a few weeks with my host family have been life chancing experiences. The warmth, kindness and enthusiasm of the people I met during these few weeks were very special. The enormous amount of positivity and hospitality that I experienced are thing that I can only respect and admire. Giving something back while volunteering created mutual smiles and a lot of joy. So, the most important thing to take away from this journey is that curiosity, openness and love are the most important factors to build bridges between people.”

“Aida Youth Center has always been like a second home for us. They have been there to celebrate our birthdays, and reward us when we have achieved good grades. I’ve always wanted to participate in the activities, which is the reason I now play music – and I never want to give that up.”

“We don’t have the same opportunities as other children. There is no park or garden we can go to, it’s not even safe for us in our own street and schoolyard. Therefore, I am happy that Aida Youth Center is here for us. It’s thanks to them that I have memories of being a child.”

“Aida Youth Center is where I experience my childhood. I’ve learnt to hope, dream and smile from them. Whenever I go there, I can finally feel safe enough to have fun. I don’t know of anywhere else where we can fearlessly play, learn and spend time together.”

“July 2018 I embarked on a volunteering Journey to Palestine. My volunteering work consisted of my role as a student social worker at Aida Youth Center. I was volunteering in the area of youth work, community work and counselling. It was direct work with the children, youth and adults from Aida Refugee Camp and surrounding camps. The team at the Center were great to work with and were open to ideas and had an emphasis on team work. My volunteering journey at the AYC was a transformative insightful experience and was a vital way in contributing to the Palestinian community. “

“I had the honor of being a part of Aida Youth Centre during my three-week stay in Bethlehem, in February 2018. As part of the experience, I was assisting Ms Taghreed in teaching children English and Maths. Due to my terrible Arabic, a lot of this involved music, art or just play. When I remember my time with the children and Ms Taghreed, I always remember this one class that touched me deeply – sitting in a circle, we put our hands on the ground and thanked the land for all that we have. At that moment, I understood how the strong sense of Palestinian identity was cultivated over many generations.

In mornings and evenings, I was assisting the centre manager, Anas, with research work. It was such a pleasure to know Anas. He is hardworking, smart, and very kind. He patiently endured my questions about life as a Palestinian, and his views about the current state of affairs. These are insights I will never receive from books or media. I believe that the time at Aida Centre has contributed to my growth as a more aware and compassionate human being, more than I have contributed to the centre. I look forward to being back there again, to return the favour that they have done for me!”

“Volunteering in Aida camp was simply nothing less than a life changing experience for me. It opened my eyes in many ways and I learned not be an egocentric person but rather to see and empathize with needy people around me. In Palestine I was strongly motivated to understand the situation of local people and be helpful to them to the best of my knowledge and abilities. Palestine became inseparable part of my life and I never stopped thinking and advocating for justice to Palestinians. Because of the unconditional support of my Palestinian friends I started writing articles in support of the Palestinian cause.”

 

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