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מרכז לקהילה האפריקאית בירושלים

Life through the Eyes of a 12-Year-Old: Roy's Experience as a JACC Tutor

In JACC’s mentoring program, mentors do more than just tutor children on their studies.

Recently, the mother of the boy Roy tutors was looking for a new sofa. Roy told her about all the groups on Facebook where used furniture is sold and showed her how to navigate the website.

She doesn’t ask for many favors, Roy said. “It was nice she felt she could ask me for something and rely on me.” Later, Roy helped her in her search for a new apartment.

In September, Roy began tutoring at JACC after a good friend of his, also a tutor, explained to him the difference mentoring could make in a child’s life. Since then, Roy has been visiting his mentee once a week to help with homework, Hebrew and English and to talk with him about life at school and his friends. His mother often joins them.

“The three of us just sit and laugh and talk about everything,” he said.

Born in Eritrea, Roy’s mentee came to Israel when he was six years old. Now he attends an experimental school that offers progressive education and many art classes.

Roy is also in school studying physics and biology at the Hebrew University. He said he thinks being an immigrant in Israel is difficult, so giving his mentee the secure surrounding that a mentor and a good school can provide is important to helping him grow.

Plus, Roy, 26, said being around someone his mentee’s age is bringing back a long-dormant perspective.

“[He] is the first 12-year-old child I have spoken to since I was 12 years old,” he said. Seeing how his mentee sees the world,

Roy is able to remember what it felt like for him to be that age.

With another semester left in school, Roy said his decision to keep mentoring next year was an easy one.

“I see that it’s really helping and meaningful, so I’m going to keep doing it.”

This month, JACC is raising money so that JACC can continue to provide asylum-seeking children with meaningful and educational programming, including mentoring and tutoring, that will help them grow and mature. As of now, 65% of the asylum-seeking community’s children in Jerusalem do not receive services from JACC because of limited resources.

Help us expand our children’s programming by contributing to our crowdfunding campaign.

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