We work at the grassroots level throughout the Muslim World to counter violent extremism before it takes hold, to promote tolerance and understanding, and to foster better relations with the United States.
In the village of Tarmilaat, unofficial ambassador Phoebe Shelor is teaching beginning French to the local children during the summer. During their daily schedule the children and Phoebe, alongside our other volunteers in Morocco, gather outside to play games in French, English and Darija, a local dialect in Morocco.
Phoebe has shared a photo gallery with captions and her thoughts on teaching and spending a summer volunteering abroad.
We created a set of memory cards to help the students learn their vocabulary. It has since become one of their favorite games. We’ve had to come up with our own set of rules to maintain order when we play. For example, if a student touches the cards or tries to peek at them, he or she loses a turn. They only have a certain amount of time to choose the second card once they’ve selected the first, because some of them will try to read where the marker has bled through the paper.
Another game the students love is one where we take them outside and throw a ball around in a circle. Andradene and I will give the students a category, and every time they catch the ball, they have to say a vocabulary word from that category.
Of course, sometimes we just have to go outside and play some games to blow off some steam. Andradene taught them how to play a game from Jamaica called Chinese Skip. Two people hold a string of rubber bands around their ankles, knees, hips, or arms while the others have to jump over and duck under the bands. Since Joe and Caitie are here this week to help us with lessons and after-school activities, we’ve introduced some new games with the equipment they brought. We also introduced a little bit of baseball to them. We started off with a wiffle bat and a shrunken soccer ball for batting practice.
The students have really grown to love us and we have grown to love them, despite their rowdiness and occasional difficulty. I’m really going to miss them when we leave. They have progressed so much in the short time we’ve been here. I hope that they will continue on with their studies and their enthusiasm. There are some students that Andradene and I are very proud of and we hope that they will go far in life. I can’t help but wonder where they will be maybe ten years from now, and I really hope it’s a good place for them and I wish them every success in life.