For Middle School, Yalla Sawa puts community in ‘community service’

Last week, the Middle School launched a new initiative that takes students off campus to engage in interactive community service projects. Yalla Sawa, meaning “working together” brings seventh and eighth graders to different sites around Madaba and Amman to volunteer their time and build relationships off campus.

“In the Middle School, we’ve been trying to spend more time outside campus,” said Dean of the Middle School Reem Abu Rahmeh. “That’s where students are going to get the best understanding of their broader community and of what Jordan needs from them as citizens and as people who care about others.”

Yalla Sawa will take place on the last Monday of each month. Through their advisory groups, students spend the full school day at one of six locations. One group is working with Our Lady of Peace center in Marj al-Hamam, which empowers refugees to create and sell products to make a living. Two groups are engaged with Tkiyet Um Ali, a food collection and distribution program. Other groups are working with three public schools in Madaba, getting to know the students and teachers and playing, learning and working alongside them. The final group visits children at the Queen Rania Hospital, bringing crafts, games and fun activities to brighten their day.

Abu Rahmeh sees the first Yalla Sawa as a success, but just one stepping stone towards the cultivation of meaningful connections and relationships.

“We want to show students we shouldn’t think in terms of us giving to them, or of what we have and what they don’t have,” she said. “We want to focus on how it looks for us to be one community, and how we can engage in a way that is impactful and will benefit our lives and their lives together.”