“The program that I’m involved in is called the Excellence Center program where people from all over the world are welcomed in Hebron, Palestine to volunteer and study Arabic. The essence of the program that I’m involved in is to help and teach local students with English depending on their levels. A part of my program is to live with a Palestinian host family in order to really grasp the culture and the language of the place.
The main reason behind me choosing Palestine as my destination to do volunteer work was partially thanks to my mother who had previously worked in Ramallah who had heard about the program through her local colleagues who had only amazing things to say about Excellence Center. However, another major reason for me choosing Palestine was due to the fact that I wanted to learn Arabic and wanted to see firsthand Palestinian life in this period of time. Palestine is a country that has to offer a lot historically and contemporarily and by coming here to volunteer I believe I could be taught a great deal about the current situation but at the same time I myself could offer the students here the opportunity to practice English.
I will be helping local English teachers here in Hebron teach English to a group of students all at different levels, starting from beginners to higher intermediate. At the same time, I will be in charge of some classes myself which means that I will be teaching a small group of students at least once a day. I will be staying for 3 months so I will have plenty of time to learn Arabic and explore the city and its surroundings. I will also be helping out with different types of jobs at the Excellence center.
During my stay I hope to contribute my knowledge of English to Excellence Center by giving classes and assisting local teachers with my knowledge in order to improve their English skills. Another way I wish to contribute Is by being a positive, hard working and determined in order to achieve the best results and really make a difference with my presence. I wish to contribute as much as I can offer in terms of language but also with other work that has to be completed that is relevant to the Center.
This experience will definitely benefit me on a personal aspect because it really gives me a clear understanding of the culture, the language and the problems that this part of the world is dealing with. I have a big desire to learn Arabic so this experience is very important to me also for my future aspirations. I’m going to start studying Arabic in university and this experience for me makes learning Arabic much easier but also more interesting because I will have something that I can relate to. I’m also studying International Studies at University with a focus point in the middle east, so this experience benefits both personal and future aspirations. This experience for me, not only do I get to volunteer and study Arabic but also discover a new life for myself and discover a world that I had never encountered before. By learning the language I get to learn the culture and that is my greatest personal aim and aspiration for the next future 3 months.
I strongly believe that my work will make a difference, big or small, I am positive it will impact some lives for the best. I am a strong and dedicated person that will make sure to push and try as much as I can in order to motivate and inspire students to learn English. At the same time I am passionate to learn Arabic and believe that it won’t be as hard as it initially seems because I will constantly surrounded by Palestinians like my colleagues and my host family. Francesca Anstey from Italy, a participant in the Volunteer in Palestine Program