It is well known that without education, children are not given the tools to improve their lives or their futures. In some of Jordan’s impoverished and underprivileged areas, Palestinian, Jordanian and Syrian children suffer from lack of education, opportunity and are often forced into working from a young age. Due to the economic hardships faced by many of their families, these children work from a young age to help their families out financially. Jordanian education activist Saddam Sayyaleh saw that this cycle would only serve to repeat itself year after year, with even more children lacking the necessary skills to become productive, well-adjusted members of their societies. So last November, Saddam decided to start an informal educational initiative for children who live in rural areas around Jerash, with the aim of offering psycho-social activities and educational classes for free.
Relying on the generosity and support of locals for both venues and volunteers, I Learn: أنا أتعلم teaches the children everything from mathematics, English, and Arabic to skills, vocational skills, art, music and drama. Saddam says that the initiative wants to instill a love for learning, breaking down the stigma that education is pointless and learning can’t be fun. Some of the children in their program now are kids who are enrolled in school, but want to learn more outside of school hours, and other children don’t have access to formal schooling. The initiative lends the children the tools of education they need for success in the future, and teaches them that they have options in their lives, not being doomed to working in the streets. Understanding the importance of family involvement, I Learn also seeks to actively engage the parents so that the educational activities and methods continue outside of the organization’s walls. Inviting mothers to participate in activities, to attend workshops and to sit in on courses, I Learn hopes to garner sustainable change in their households, indirectly lending the mothers the communicative skills they need to raise their children. They also invite father’s to participate in activities and participates in a sports tournament with their children, encouraging communication and mutual growth, breaking down some of the barriers.
Under the umbrella of Science League, whose mission is to improve education across the country, I Learn hopes to be the spark a wave of change for the future, injecting hope and a passion for learning in all communities throughout Jordan.
For more information: Visit I Learn: أنا أتعلم Initiative’s official Facebook page.