By Ainoor Gudgud (YES 2019 - 2020, Libya, placed by AFS in Urbandale, IA)
Childhood is the most cherished time in most people’s lives. Many of us look back at our childhoods and remember joyful moments with our friends, or gatherings around the house with our families.
However, a lot of us don’t have these normalized privileges, and their childhood memories aren’t filled with our most cherished ones. So we made a YES alumni project with an orphanage in Tripoli to take the children on a joyful adventure.
The trip was on May 21st and five YES alumni drove to “Naadi Altuful”, a children’s fun center with a large variety of games such as a jungle gym, trampolines, arcade games, and more. The surprised and excited looks on the 21 children’s faces as we first walked into the center were precious reactions I’ll always remember. They had so much energy and played for hours. We took breaks for snacks, and eventually gathered around to have lunch together before they excitedly ran back to play. We ended the day by surprising them with gifts and chocolates, as we said our final goodbyes and the kids got on the bus to return to the orphanage.
To add long term impact, we provided books and built a library at the orphanage, leaving an impact not only for the children we took to the children’s center, but all the other children from different age groups at the orphanage. We wanted to provide them with free access to a variety of educational books, as well as story books including Islamic historical stories and coloring books for entertainment.
It was a wonderful day for all the YES alumni volunteers in this activity, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the additional help and donations of the local businesses such as Naadi Altufil and Libya Toys. We enjoyed it as much as the children did and we can’t wait for the next time we visit them.