Tell us about yourself

I’m Irish. I studied politics and then found myself working in Brussels, but had always had a love for the people and culture of the Middle East. I was heartbroken at how the world had abandoned Syrians and wanted to do something (however small) to show the next generation that we do care.

How did you find out about SB ?

I was searching for an opportunity to volunteer and heard about SB from a former volunteer who had only good things to say about the organisation.

Favourite memory with SB?

All those eureka moments when a child would grasp a concept they’d been struggling with and give you that smile of personal triumph.

Advice for a future volunteer?

Don’t be that teacher who only teaches the strongest students and then moves on. Keep changing your methods to reach children with different learning styles.

Did it change your life in any way?

Yes, it has confirmed that I want to change my career path – now to figure out the next steps!!

What was the most important lesson you learned?

From the teachers who work day in/day out at the school in Saida and from members of the community I learnt that openness, kindness, warmth, generosity and dignity are alive and well, despite how some current populist rhetoric would have you despair about mankind.

Anything else you want to share?

I’ll really miss Syrian food!