Mentoring Refugee Youth

Each week at the Youth Mentoring Club, it can be difficult to encourage the children to open up and participate in certain activities, especially with a language barrier. The younger children often stick together while the older boys who are in high school are more willing to participate in more of the activities that we plan. One activity that brought everyone together across the language barrier and the age gaps was allowing everyone to draw something special to themselves.  I sat with the younger Syrian children and we got to know more about each other by drawing and practicing English. One of the girls was clearly an artist and she couldn’t draw anything if it was less than perfect. She showed me photos of some  drawings she  had done and grew frsturatd when what she was working on at the meeting was not turning out the way she wanted. Her sister ended up drawing something for her to hang up on the board with the rest of the pieces, but we also shared the pictures of her other drawings to the rest of the group. Everyone in the group participated and was passionate about what they drew. At times, it can be difficult to plan activities for such a diverse group but when we are successful in this, it is a rewarding experience.  Kathleen D.


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