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Can a Child Raise a Village?

January 1, 2014

 

"Today my family and I benefit from the large garden inspired by the children and what we harvest from our garden supports my family." -Maryam

 

In 2009, MECI's child-centered community development program took an innovative approach to shaping a better world for our students through the addition of community service.  

 

Our therapists and partners operating in the field reaffirmed that self-motivated success in the classroom meant resurrecting a culture of self-motivated pride and empowerment at home. 

 

We didn't demand change from our student's villages, we asked our student's to see the needs of those around them and recreate their environment. 

 

We were skeptical, but determined, and thanks to your generous support and the dedication of our service providers, we succeeded in Beit Rima and Der Ghassaneh beyond our wildest expectations. Our community service program has spread beyond the two villages and MECI students have now traveled to other nearby villages to help plant the seeds of hope.   

 

Leadership training and service guidelines are provided to MECI students and parent volunteers. The Mayor's office provides lists of child appropriate projects to undertake by identifying public areas to beautify and providing a list of villagers in need. 

 

Students address the specific needs families and provide small meaningful tokens of assistance such as painting walls, planting gardens, cleaning yards, or helping single mothers with their day-to-day chores. 

 

Our student leaders also maintain their schools making them a center of pride for the community and replicate these efforts in the "town square" reinforcing their commitment public service. 

 

Finally, our students become ambassadors that tell the stories of MECI's achievements; good health, nutrition, sports programs, and academic mprovement and villagers contribute to the student's education. For example, elders who are thrilled to have company and in turn share their oral histories.

 

 

We are growing this community development program because it is working. We hope to introduce it to all our areas of activity, while expanding these efforts where they are already taking place. 

"The children's visit brought life back to me... I have just few people who visit these days." - Najla, an elder

  

To date:  

  • Students have completed 207 community service projects
  • 2,560 students (1194 girls and 1366 boys) have participated in these projects
  • 1,763 parents partnered with children to complete these projects
  • The majority of these projects were completed in the two villages served by MECI: Beit Rima and Der Ghassaneh

 

 

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MIDDLE EAST CHILDREN'S INSTITUTE - USA

63 Forest Avenue, Suite 5B,

Locust Valley, New York 11560

+1 516 686-2223 

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Avenue du Casino 52,

1820 Montreux

+41 21 963 42 30

fondation@mecinstitute.org

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152 Mecca Street, Al Husaini Complex 

7th floor office # 703

PO Box 3551 - 11821 Amman

+962 6 5542818

lfarouqi@mecinstitute.org

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