Click here to go to Google Translator
Søndag den 1. april rejste den danske del af Jordangruppen til Amman for at overvære resultatet af halvandet års intensivt arbejde: Åbningen af ”Homework Village”. Både til selve åbningen og efterfølgende har projektet oplevet stor opmærksomhed og succes.
Der er grund til at high-five på projektet Homework-village, hvor både børn og frivillige oplever stor succes. Her er det en af de danske U-ledere - Sascha - og en glad dreng, der får hjælp til lektierne.
Interesse og engagement fra alle sider
”Vi har gennem hele vores ophold mødt interessere og engagement for vores projekt fra alle, lige fra involverede børn og forældre, til undervisningsministeriet og nationale medier. Vores håb og drøm er, at det jordanske samfund vil tage projektet til sig og udbrede det til flere skoler, da der efter blot en måned kan mærkes en forskel, både ifølge udtalelser fra lærerne, og fra børnenes glæde og iver for at få hjælp i lektiecafeen. For eksempel stod børnene en morgen foran døren ind til lokalet to timer før vi åbnede og spurgte om de ikke snart skulle i Homework Village?” Fortæller de danske U-ledere.
De to danske u-ledere - Heidi (t.h.) og Sascha (t.v.) - venter spændt sammen med skolens koordinator lige før lektiecafeens åbning!
En lektiecafe helt i overensstemmelse med RBUs værdier
Efter de første tre uger har lektiecafeen stor succes både mht. fremmøde af elever og frivillige lektiehjælpere: På ugentlig basis er der 39 børn i caféen og omkring 15 engagerede frivillige. Lektiecaféen er da også helt fra start bygget op om RBUs værdier: “Vi har afholdt workshop med de frivillige, som handlede om Rights Based Approach og forskellige alternative læringsmetoder, så vi får implementeret RBUs idé om, at lektiehjælpen ikke skal foregå som en klassetime, men mere som en ”storesøster/storebror” ordning. Vi har ligeledes fokuseret meget på inddragelse af børnene igennem åbningsforløbet; det har blandt andet været igennem pyntning af lokalet, en speciel åbning for børnene og med gennemførelsen af konceptet, at det er børnene selv, der bestemmer, hvad de vil hjælpes med og hvordan.”
Det danske hold har lagt mange tanker og kræfter i projektet, og håber på, at det kan blive udbredt til hele - det meget smukke - land
Et projekt med potentiale
Nationalt jordansk TV var tilstede, og repræsentanter fra Jordans undervisningsministerium var også på pletten, da projektet åbnede, og den efterfølgende lørdag var alle fire ungdomsledere i et jordansk talkshow i en halv time, hvor projektets forløb blev diskuteret. I løbet af det næste år skal mulighederne for en udvidelse af projektet og eventuelle åbninger af flere lektiecaféer diskuteres, og der er dermed en reel mulighed for, at projektet får national udbredelse - hvilket de danske RBU’ere selvfølgelig håber på!
Projektet er blevet til i samarbejde med en jordansk frivillig gruppe fra WE-center (West and East center for human development) og de i alt 14 frivillige har været på adskillige seminarer, både i Jordan og Danmark, senest i Februar 2012 hvor et vellykket 6-dages seminar blev afholdt i Århus. De udvalgte 4 ungdomsledere - to fra Danmark og to fra Jordan - arbejdede fuldtid på en 3 mdr. ungdomsleder udveksling, som foregik henholdsvis en måned i Danmark, hvor de blev uddannet i International Projekt Ledelse på et intensivt 2-ugers kursus afholdt af DUF, og efterfølgende 2 måneder i Jordan, hvor selve udførelsen af projektet altså foregik og stadig foregår. Det er et eksempel på et rigtig flot stykke internationalt-RBU-arbejde!
Yesterday was our final day as youth leaders and tonight Sascha and Heidi are going back to Denmark. It has been 9 amazing weeks with a lot of challenges, happiness, success and new gained hope for improving the education for the Jordanian children. We would like to thank the Jordanian group, the school, Ms. Eptisam, Ms. Ameera, the Danish group, all the people who are following our project and everybody else who made this project a reality. But an especially thank goes to the homework helpers - without you there would not be a Homework Village!!
We have really enjoyed our time, and enjoyed following the children attending the Homework Village and seeing the result they have gained already.
The next two weeks we will work on the Open Day. Dana, Anas, the Jordanian group and volunteer coordinators will be the main people working on coordinating this day, but Sascha and Heidi will be in close contact and helping as much as they can from Denmark. And the good news is, that DUF approved the Open Day and the danish youth leaders trip back in the end of May for 4 days. So this will not be a goodbye, but a “see you soon”. Until then - keep spreading the word about our project.
Thank you Jordan.
We are almost at the end of a truly amazing youth leader exchange. During the last week, we spend two days helping WE-center with the training course for The Ambassador for Dialogue, which also is a program under the DUF umbrella. We met a lot of nice people from Denmark, Egypt and Jordan, who were all very excited for the training course.
Saturday we had a meeting with the new coordinators for the Open Day the 30th of May, where we discussed the program and different areas of responsibility. The volunteers came up with a lot of good ideas and we are certain that this day is going to be a big and exciting day. There will be a lot of activities for the children as well as small ‘workshops’ about the concept of Homework Village and Rights Based Approach, for the adults attending. The Danish youth leaders are still waiting for response from DUF, whether they will be back this day or not. We will cross our fingers :)
Sunday, three of the youth leaders had a fun and social day at Petra - please see our pictures from this day :)
Monday, we had a meeting with the principal where we discussed the details about the Open Day and had an evaluation about the Homework Village. She told us that the children, already after only one month, are showing positive results in the classroom as well as at home. The parents for some of the children attending the H.W.V., had told her that their children seemed more happy and confident. The principal had also heard positive things from the teacher about the attending children - some of them seemed more confident and others was more active in the class. So overall, she was very happy for our work and look forward to the future :)
Tomorrow Heidi and Sascha have a meeting with the Embassy to discuss the final things about the Open Day and Wednesday the final day at the Homework Village will be as well as the final meeting with the Jordanian Group. We are sad that it is all coming to an end, but confident that the project will be sustainable, so that we can help more jordanian children with their homework in the future.
Saturday was the day of the long anticipated workshop with the primary homework helpers. The workshop was conducted in a conference room at the University of Jordan, from the hours between 12pm and 3pm. We were SO happy to see 13 engaged volunteers, who were all actively participating in our discussions. Specially the ones we had about Rights Based Approach and how we can involve the children more in our work with them. We all stressed the importance of making the children feel comfortable in the Homework Village and with the helpers, and let them speak their mind. We want them to feel like they are being taught by a older brother or sister instead of a teacher, like in the classroom.
In the discussion about the different teaching methods, the volunteers were discussing many alternative methods that could help the children to a better understanding of the difficulties they are facing with their homework. Many helpful and creative suggestions where given, which make the helpers feel ready to face the different challenges in the Homework Village.
Sunday was another day at the Homework Village and many engaged volunteers showed up. It was so good to see, how they were using the materials and methods they learnt the day before. The childen were happy and excited about the new learning materials and how the helpers praised them, when they did a great job. Many of the children left the room with star stickers in their forehead :)
We now have less than two weeks of our youth leader stay, and with the “Open Day” arrangement in cooperation with the Danish and Swedish Embassy and their culture festival, we have a lot of work ahead of us. We are still working on the possibility of coming back to Amman around the 26th of May, but nothing is certain yet. Until then, we will have to chose coordinators from our volunteers, who will help us with this. We also need to have meetings with the school and teachers, to see if there is anything they are able to do for us.
During the last week or so, we have had meetings with the Jordanian Group and internally between the 4 youth leaders. Sunday and Wednesday the Homework Village was opened and many children as well as homework helpers attended. We are still missing some volunteers to the Homework Village, but hopefully our workshop on Saturday will help engaging more volunteers and teaching the once we have, about commitment.
We have also bought several materials for the Homework Village, to show the volunteers how to ‘teach and learn through play’, as we see this as an important part of the Homework Village. This can help the children distinguish between learning in the classroom and learning in the Homework Village. This will be showed and discussed on the workshop.
On Saturday, the 3-hours workshop will be held for our primary volunteer group (around 10-15 people). The four youth leaders will be talking about “The Concept of Danish Homework Cafés”, “Rights Based Approach” (how to actively engage the children), “The volunteers’ own code of conduct” and “Different learning methods”. We are looking forward to this workshop and hope to see as many volunteers as possible.
Now to the great news: Wednesday, Heidi and Sascha had a meeting at the Swedish Embassy in Amman, to talk about the project. A man from the Danish Embassy and a woman from the Danish Institute in Syria attended the meeting, as well as a woman from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who works as a coordinator for all Danish projects in Jordan. They are working on a project here in Amman, establishing a culture festival called “Sensing the North”, which is to be held in the beginning of June. The purpose of it is to show the Nordic culture to the Jordanian people, and a code word for the project is “change”. They are looking for Danish initiatives and projects to cooperate with them and help them to show what Nordic culture is about. They liked our Danish/Jordanian project “Homework Village” very much, and would like us to hold an “open day” in the end of May/start June.
After the workshop Saturday we will start preparing and work on this open day. Hopefully we can arrange a lot of different activities this day and invite schools, teachers, children, NGO’s, people from The Ministry of Education, students and other interested people - so that we can have a BIG, fun and eventful ”open day” in the end of May.. And we hope that Heidi and Sascha can return to Jordan to join this day and the Culture Festival in Amman in June.
After 3 amazing days in Jerusalem, we returned to Amman on Tuesday. Wednesday was the second time the Homework Village was open for the almost 40 children. Heidi, Sascha and Dana went to see how everything was working and tried to help the children with the homework as well :) Many volunteers came, almost twice as many as we expected, and they were all great with the children. They really helped them and in their feedback to us, we could hear that help was needed. Miss Amira (the coordinator from the school) was there during the two hours of the Homework Village. She told us that some of the children had been standing outside the door of the Village since 9am, just waiting for it to open! This really shows that even though it is school work, the children enjoy coming to the Homework Village and getting help from the homework helpers.
During the next couple of days, we will have a meeting with the Jordanian team to discuss the primary and secondary homework helpers and where to go from here. The workshop for the volunteers will be Saturday the 21th of April and during next week, we will have to prepare for this.
We encourage you all to ‘like’ our Facebook page, where information and lots of pictures about the project is posted. Thank you from the youth leaders :)
Today our project got the best attention and media coverage!
We were invited to a 22 minutes long live interview in a show on the national Jordanian TV-channel, Ro’ya TV. It was very exciting for the four of us, and it was a huge opportunity for us to tell about the concept and the project. We got to tell about how a Homework Village works, voluntarism, our obstacles, our role, Save The Children Youth Denmark, WE-Center, and that we hope to see more Homework Villages open, with or without our help.
We still can’t believe entirely how lucky we are that the Jordanian society shows this big interest in the concept of homework help and voluntarism.
Tomorrow the interview will be online, and we will post the link as soon as we get home…. Because from tomorrow on, we will take three days off after four exciting and hard weeks and go to Jerusalem :)
You can see the tv-interview, by clicking here !
This week has by far been the best week of our youth leader stay in Jordan! We have enjoyed the company of the Danish team and were excited to show them around Amman. After the opening on Tuesday, we left for a teambuilding trip Wednesday morning. A bus came to pick us up and drove 3 hours to Petra, were we saw the amazingness of the old city. After that we drove to the desert, called Wadi Rum, were we all enjoyed the sunset, dinner with the Bedouins and warm tea boiled over the fire. We slept in tens in the middle of the desert and woke up around 5.30 to watch the sunset. It was truly amazing!!
We left the desert after the sunset Thursday morning and went back to Amman, with a little detour to go swim in the Dead Sea.
Friday we went to the local Friday market to do a bit of shopping (mainly the girls J ). We then had a long seminar, where we evaluated the opening and discussed the future of the project. Many good things were discussed and high goals for the future in the project was set.
Today all our wishes came true! The first Homework Village in Jordan opened in Amman, and it was a huge succes - even more than we had dreamed of.
We started the day early at the school with the last preparations and informations. 16 engaged volunteers showed up, and dressed up beautifully in the Homework Village T-shirts, which says Tatawa (be a volunteer) on the back. We all spend time with 22 of the children who are attending the project, and handed out small gifts and badgets.
While we had fun with the children the parents, principals, TV, people from Ministry of Education and other important people in suits showed up. National TV filmed during the opening and interviewed Anas. This was showed on Jordanian international TV twice today!!!!
The opening consisted of different speeches. The school principal Ms. Eptisan had an opening speech and afterwards there were speeches from Sameh from the jordanian partner group, one of the parents, Jonas the Danish project leader and four volunteers.
Everyone showed a big interest in the project and the concept of volunteer university-students giving homework help to children. We were SO happy that all these people came, were excited and want the concept to expand.
We are unbelievably happy that months and months of work, and the youth leader-exchange have ended up this succesfully. No all we need to do - is keep the Homework Village going and keep spreading the word :)
Saturday, Sunday and Monday were the final preparations before the big opening. We had two information meetings with the volunteers, where we prepared them for the opening day and agreed on the 4 volunteers, who were going to hold small speeches about voluntarism, the project and their reason for being a homework helper.
During the same days, we had a chance to see the 36 children, who will be attending the Homework Village to begin with. We had previously discussed the fact that it was very important to involve the children in this project, as it is all about helping them, they helped us decorate the Homework Village room. They were SO happy and excited and we were even more happy to meet them and talk to them about our project and helping them decorate.
Sunday night (very late) the rest of the Danish team arrived in Jordan, ready for the opening day. We were all very excited to see them all, and finally be able to see the result of what we have all been working so hard on for such a long time.
Thursday Dana, Mohammed, Sascha and Heidi spend the afternoon at University of Jordan. We went there to find volunteers for the Homework Village and talk about the project and voluntarism. Many people showed interest in the project, and we got 5 minutes of an English lecture to go and tell the students about the project.
We walked around the University campus and talked to the students and handed out flyers. This way we found 20 students who are all interested in being a homework helper, and hopefully they will show up to the information meeting this Saturday.
Friday we had the day off and went to Salt where Mohammed is from. We had a new cultural experience with a traditionally Jordanian picnic. It was a beautiful day, with delicious food and great people!
This week has been very exciting, with visits from Denmark, birthday celebration and media campaign at the university.
Tuesday, two Danish girls, who also attended the youth leader course back in Denmark, came to visit us in Amman. Sarah and Rabab are working on creating different sports activities for girls, here in Jordan. Unfortunately they are not staying in Amman, but leaving for other cities. We did, however, have a great dinner with them on Tuesday and a birthday dinner for Sascha on Wednesday. It was nice to see them again and we all wish them the best of luck with their project.
Wednesday Sascha and Heidi had arabic lessons for two hours, followed by a trip to Jordan Citádel together with Rabab, Sarah and Dana, where we all watch an amazing view of Amman city. After that, we went to a nice restaurant where we celebrated Sascha’s birthday, with lots of food, cake, singing and presents :)
A very nice beginning of the week with only more exciting things, yet to come.
Today we had another meeting with the principal and the representative, who will work as coordinator of the Homework Village on the school. We discussed the final details and agreed on an agenda for the two-hour opening celebration, which will be next Tuesday from 11am-1pm. We agreed on the different speakers, and the music teacher from the school offered to play the Jordanian anthem for the guests, together with the children. We are going to invite around 50 people, including different journalists and principals from other schools. We are all very excited for this day and we hope it will be a great success, inshallah :)
After the meeting with the principal, we went back to WE-center and had a meeting with the Jordanian group. Here we also discussed the opening day and agreed on a speaker from our project and a ‘toastmaster’ who will be the person talking, in-between the different speeches. We agreed on having a ‘pre-opening’ for the children, 30 min. before the opening for the others, as we all think it is highly important that the children are involved in this project, e.g. also the opening. It will then be the homework helpers who will entertain the children in these 30 min., with face painting, blowing balloons and etc. This way the children will get to know their future homework helpers, which will make them more comfortable going to the Homework Village.
We wrote the final invitations letters for the media, which will be send out tomorrow.
The coming week is the last week before the opening, which means we have a lot of things to do. Thursday we are going to the university with flyers and talk to the students about our project, and trying to get them to join our project. Saturday and Sunday, we will go to the school and decorate the room where the opening will take place, as well as preparing the Room for the Homework Village for the first day of opening. During these days we will also have meetings with the homework helpers.
We have been so busy this weekend, but not with work..
Friday we were invited to our new friend Ahed’s birthday party. It was a BBQ-party on a farm outside of Amman. We had a great time with a lot of friendly jordanian young people, we got to practice our Arabic, we had Jordanian food, smoked hublibubli and the guys made a song for us.
Saturday morning we left Amman, and drove towards The Dead Sea. We drove through pretty towns and wonderfull nature, and went to a memorial place, with lots of tanks, military cars and war-things. This day was the 44. anniversary for the war between Jordan and Israel, and we were allowed to sit inside the tanks and vehicles. It was really exciting.
We spend the rest of the day swimming in The Dead Sea and relaxing in the sun on the beach. (Anas was smoking hublibubli).
Thank you Jordan for another great weekend!