On Thursday, Sept. 21, students from University of Westminster London completed a memorable trip throughout Jordan in the latest round of the Changing Lives Program, by the Majid AlSadi Charity Foundation.
The group of 14 undergraduates from a range of academic backgrounds arrived in Jordan in early September. The program introduced the students to local communities from all walks of life in Jordan, aiming to give them a genuine understanding of the diversity and shared humanity of the Arab world.
In collaboration with local NGOs, visiting students took part in teaching, learning and volunteering activities to help improve cross-cultural understanding of the Arab world, its cultures, its society and people. These activities build positive experiences for both local communities and visiting students, which influence the rest of their lives.
During the 10-day cultural exchange program, the British students met with local youth on a one-on-one and group basis, in activities including English lessons at a Madrasati school in Jerash, drawing, painting, puppet-making and outdoor facility upgrades.
Highlights of the trip included a visit to the BADWA for Special Needs Center, the Queen Rania Family and Child Center and with refugees at the Gaza Palestinian Refugee Camp in Jerash.
At the Jordan Media City students toured the facilities and staged their own TV show, and discussed cultural issues in collaboration with students from Middle East University. Westminster students were also introduced to the innovation hub at Zain’s ZINC campus, where they saw robot development. The students enjoyed visiting and learning about women and students in regional centers supported by the Princess Taghreed Institute.
The trip would not have been complete without exposing the students to the warm Jordanian hospitality. They tasted traditional cuisine and visited some of Jordan’s most well-known touristic sites, such as the Dead Sea and Jerash.
One of the British students, Georgia KV, said: “It is going to be hard to describe the past 10 days as it has been one of the most incredible experiences I have ever had the pleasure to take part in. One of the aims of the trip was for us to take part in activities that would change lives – not only the lives of the people living in Jordan, but also ours and those of our relatives and friends through sharing our experiences.”