Twenty-one-year-old Hiba al-Khaldi is from the north of Jordan. With the onset of the Syrian conflict in 2011, she witnessed this region become home to hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees.
It was her passion for teaching that motivated Hiba to join Acting for Change International (AFCI) in 2017. ‘When I finished school’, says Hiba, ‘I used to teach the kids in my neighborhood. And I’ve also completed courses on education and self-development…then, when I first heard of Acting for Change, and their support of Syrian refugees through educational classes, I wanted to volunteer my skills in any way possible…many Syrian kids had never been to school because of the war’.
As part of ACFI’s literacy building programme, Hiba has since traveled to the centre three times per week to teach Math and Arabic to Syrian students. She finds her work very rewarding, but not without its challenges. ‘My biggest challenge was that I had students, 16 and 17 years old, who were illiterate. I also teach some students, who are very smart and they study very hard, but because they never went to school, they lack social skills and behave poorly in the classroom’.
In 2018, AFCI provided training to teachers and students to enhance their capacity in managing challenging behavior in a positive way. ‘The skills I gained from the training’ says Hiba, ‘help
me to support the children and provide them with what they require from me’. Hiba then discussed other ways her skills had developed. ‘I need English more than you can imagine. And with Acting for Change, I am learning English and working with people who are speaking English…this is a great reward for me’.
In December 2018, Hiba undertook ACFI’s two month computer course, sponsored by the Catalyst Foundation. This course is offered to Syrian and Jordanian children and adults. It introduces students to the world of IT and equips them with basic skills to efficiently browse and utilize the web. Hiba excelled during the course and gained the necessary skills to become the assistant IT teacher of ACFI’s Computer Project. This great achievement reflects the development of Hiba’s skill set through her work with ACFI and places her in good stead to continue enhancing the lives of children through its training and development programmes.