– August 28 2019
A donor becomes a mentor
In a computer lab in the SOS Children’s Village Amman, Jordan, Fahmi* solves difficult mathematics problems with the help of his tutor Suhaib Hashem Alj’briy. Four years ago, things were very different – mathematics was the 13-year-old’s least favourite subject and Suhaib was an SOS child sponsor.
Before becoming a tutor, Suhaib, 24, was one of Fahmi’s sponsors, and he used to visit the boy once a month. During one of the visits, Fahmi took Suhaib’s calculator and typed in a three-figure number, but could not read it. Suhaib realised that the boy needed support with mathematics. Suhaib decided to volunteer as a mathematics tutor, becoming more than a sponsor.
“Suhaib became my friend. We meet every week and he helps me with scientific subjects. I used to hate mathematics but now it is my favourite subject,” says Fahmi.
For Suhaib, a university student in his fourth year of mechanical engineering, it was initially difficult to tutor Fahmi. The boy was easily distracted and did not really care about school. However, Suhaib explored ways to change his attitude toward studying, such as rewarding him when he achieves good grades and encouraging him to learn from mistakes.
Fahmi not only improved in mathematics, but his overall school performance is better than four years ago. With constant encouragement from his SOS mother and dedicated support from Suhaib, his average school grade increased from 55% to 89%. Today, Fahmi is more aware that school is his way to succeed in life and dreams of becoming a surgeon.
Suhaib is pleased to see the impact of his volunteering. “I enjoy volunteering. When I come to the village, I leave it happy no matter how sad or angry I was when I came. I feel that I have realised something beautiful,” he says.
Photos: Salma Inani
*Name has been changed to protect privacy.