Since he returned to Libya after his YES year, Abdalla Alfaqeeh has been thinking of ways to give back to his home community. Abdalla comes from a small city in the east of Libya called Albayda, and he is the first YES student from there. As Abdalla is the only alumnus in Albayda, it was up to him to take the initiative. Abdalla reached out to the Scouts Commission, a well-known Libyan youth service organization, and offered to provide a free English language program for their students.
The cultural experiences that Abdalla gained during his exchange year motivated him to start the English language program. He wanted to offer this program to elementary and middle school students because he has experience interacting with that age group from his community service projects and time spent with his host siblings. The development of the program became a community effort!
Through a local YES grant, Abdalla got English language books from Amideast, and the Scouts Commission provided the teaching venue. One of the students’ parents provided a projector to use for lessons as well. On January 11, Abdalla began the English language program and he ended it on March 25. 20 students between the ages of seven to eleven attended the program.
Even though Abdalla doesn’t have teaching experience, he found teaching to be fun. Leading this program allowed Abdalla to try new and creative methods including games, watching Disney movies, and helping the students with their English homework from school. For Abdalla, the real value was that the English language stopped being a burden for these students, but rather a new lens through which they could see the world.
This English language program was a learning experience for both Abdalla and the students. For Abdalla, this English language program is just the start; the best is yet to come!
Read about an English language project organized by a YES alumna in Tunisia here.
Abdalla Alfaqeeh (YES 2019–2020, Libya, placed by Ayusa in McMinnville, OR)