Noor dreaded going to school. She woke up every morning with a pit in her stomach.
Her family didn't have a lot of money. And she was very shy, so she had trouble fitting in with the other girls. Noor didn't really have any friends. And to make matters worse – some of the older girls had been bullying her for months.
This painful rejection from her classmates sapped her energy and affected her grades tremendously. She became deeply depressed and eventually dropped out of school, which isolated her even more.
When we first met Noor at our alternative education center in Jordan, she was battered from the wounds of rejection and isolation.
Most of our students have lived through some sort of trauma – poverty, war, abuse, bullying. These experiences can give them a greater sensitivity to others in need.
We mentor our students to develop this sensitivity and channel their difficult experiences towards positive growth and action. We foster kindness and teach compassion. Instead of focusing on what people are missing, we focus on what people have to contribute.
Noor's new classmates came to love her for her spontaneous and positive spirit. Their acceptance helped Noor come out of her shell, and her confidence grew. "I feel like I have a new chance. Everything changed. The girls around me are my friends now," said Noor.
Our alternative learning program helped Noor succeed in her studies. But more importantly – it helped her heal and grow from her past wounds. Now she has a voice and plans for the future. And her experience of suffering positions her as a leader in healing – for herself and for others.