Meeting the future Palestinian president!

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Mahmoud posed with a member of the Korean Media Campaign participated in the Photo Gallery opening ceremony at Jalboun Park where he participated with eight photos.

I want to be the future president of the State of Palestine!” seriously and in determination said Mahmoud. “This is not a day dream, and I know that I need to work tremendously on myself and spend much effort and time to be able to serve the position”, completed Mahmoud.

Mahmoud is a 9thgrade sponsored child from Al-Attarah village who had developed his skills and competences in the last three years through WV capacity building interventions in his village. He didn’t miss any activity implemented in his village or even on the ADP scale activities.

  In its intervention, World Vision depends on a discrete featured development approach that is recently adopted by many INGO’s and comes in coherence with seven out of eight of the UN Millennium Development Goals. 

WV’s interventions in Al Attarah focused in the past five years, in general, on the activities that aimed to empower youth as an important part of the community that counts for 49% of the population. WV established and rehabilitated science and computer labs in their schools, a resource room, school libraries, a school garden, a Kindergarten rehabilitation and equipping, sports competitions, scientific clubs and summer camps, Scout Camps and the remedial education program as well as the various activities of the sponsorship program. WV was also interested in women empowerment which was demonstrated through food processing activities and vocational training for women. Also according to Samah abu Sidoo, South Jenin CDO, a beauty salon was equipped for one of Al Attarah’s last year hairdressing trainee.

Mahmoud was one of Al Attarah youth who initiated the idea of establishing a youth center that helps Al Attarah youth and give them the chance to flourish as he did. He was a key person in the photographing and advocacy training and he volunteered to supervise the remedial education program for this year at Al Attarah Boys School. He was responsible of opening and closing the school for the remedial education program which takes place in his village. He is, also, an active member of WV village committee and is the voice of youth there.

Mahmoud remarked: “Everyone thinks that to be vulnerable is to be poor with low education performance, but the most painful vulnerability is when you are from a middle class family and you are good in your school but you have a lot more to do. You have capacities and dreams that you aren’t able to fulfil as the school, the village and the governorate infrastructure aren’t prepared enough to use your skills. In our village, like most Palestinian villages, children are worth nothing as they are young, they have no rights, no voice and their dreams are neglected”, said Mahmoud.

Mahmoud smiled and completed: “World Vision has treated us differently. It raised our awareness about our rights and duties, equipped us with the needed capacities and listened to our voice. When WV formatted the village committee it integrated youth and trained them how to think creatively and worked with older officials on how to make a decision”.

WV staff went to visit Mahmoud at his school where his principal Mr. Abdel Ra’ouf Jarar welcomed them. He started by saying: “Mahmoud has changed during the past few years. He’s an excellent performer and active in almost all the extracurricular activities we have. He has a volunteering spirit and his colleagues love him”. Mr. Jarar started to count the extracurricular activities that Mahmoud participates in: “He is a member in the theater group, Scout, School broadcasting, citizenship project. He participated in Palestine Science and Technology fair. He also has strong leadership characteristics and his colleagues entitled him a vital role in the students’ meditation committee”.

Mr. Riyad Ghanem, Mahmoud’s Math teacher said: “I knew Mahmoud since he was in his 5th grade and I am teaching him this year. He’s a totally different person and he’s very mature for his age. It’s not about academic performance; it’s about personality and self-confidence. I attribute much of this change to the experience he got through involvement in various WV initiatives since that time”.

Hayam Adel Hadi, Mahmoud’s mother, said: “I have 6 children, they are all ascendant in their education and they all study in the Universities and Mahmoud is my youngest child.  I feel how advance Mahmoud became in the recent few years and that gratifies me. I really can rely on him in many situations and I can discuss life issues with him as if he is a reliable adult. I feel that he is very mature for his age and WV activities supported this maturity.  He helps me in the house chores and he always gives a hand to his brothers and sisters. He helped me in vegetables plantation in our garden and he helps in taking care of them, also. After his participation in the scientific summer camp he became obsessed with electronics and IT and I am very pleased that he fixes some of our electronic devices at home”.

Omar Abdel Hadi, Mahmoud’s father, commented in gladness: “I was there witnessing my son’s transformation.  He was like a pupa that WV kept taking care of till it transformed to a beautiful Monarchy Butterfly who just left its chrysalis”. “In 2012 summer vacation, Mahmoud came and asked for my permission to work during school holidays and I encouraged him to widen his experience. He was always working, he participated in the Scientific Summer Camp of World Vision and other activities and succeeded in balancing between both”, Said Mahmoud’s father.

“Abu Ali” Mahmoud’s father completed: “He succeeded in saving an amount of money and bought a big speaker and since then, he participate in most of the happy occasions that take place in the village and he saves the money for his creations and projects”. “Mahmoud has big dreams and I support him all the way as I trust his judgments. I am very proud of my son; he is humble, talented, obedient, broad-minded and determinant”, said Abu Ali.

Mahmoud asked to deliver a message to his sponsor in Korea: “ I would like to thank you a lot for letting my dreams come true and for giving me the chance to see dreams that I never recongnized before. Thank you for your participation in empowering our youth and building our great nation”.

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