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Journals from AUCP - Marseille, France

2013-02-17 Bénévole Volontaire

This Thursday I started my first day of my service project for this semester. My service project is at the L’Association 13 Envie de Sport. It is a private organization that organizes various activities to develop and challenge children academically as well as socially. When I went to the organization on Thursday, I met the lady who is in charge of the association. Because Marseille is a city of people from many different cultures, this organization focused on helping Maghrebian children with various subjects. My role is to help students with their English language. I met an 11 year old boy named Yasiin who takes English at his school. For most of the time, I helped him understand written grammar, concept of time in America, and later practiced speaking. He was not shy to speak and correct his mistakes which made me lose my intimidation when I make errors in French.

Yesterday, on Saturday afternoon, I went to an Annual Lottery Event for this organization. All the students came with their parents. We all played lottery with all the kids and the winner chose a small present from the present aisle. The presents consisted of backpacks, little toys, random house appliances, and school supplies. I was very humbled by the fact that the presents weren’t new and expensive things that defines a “prize” in America. Some of the presents were new; some looked like they were donations. We took a break from the lottery and had refreshments that the families made. Most of the goodies were Arabic, French, and Turkish pastries. I got to chat with the parents (who baked the goodies) and their beautiful children.

This opportunity to get to see these struggling families come together for their children was very beautiful and humbling. It made me want to reach out to help them with their English as much as possible and have a heartwarming conversation with the parents for the simple fact that we are all single beings striving to live comfortably with our loved ones.

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