Raheil Barakat, is a 22-year-old young women with a passion towards voluntary work. She is a participant in ActionAid’s Arab Region projects “Strengthening youth civic and political engagement in Jordan” funded by DAPP and in June she took part in an exchange visit to a youth hub in Denmark organized by ActionAid Arab Region and their partner Tammey, as part of her role as a member of the co-creation team of “Liwan” Youth Hub in Amman, Jordan.
Raheil main priority was to learn, discover, and empower herself, she wanted to make a change in her community. “Since my first year in the university I was able to be involved in different voluntary work”, she said. Youth in Jordan has minimal amount of opportunities to level up their skills, but Raheil was different she never stopped and never gave up in finding her way. She added: “I wanted to be ready for life after the university, I wanted to be able to have as much knowledge and experience as I can”.
Everything changed after Raheil graduation, she said: “The love I have for voluntary work didn’t stop, because it’s not something that I only do, it’s something I love, and you never stop doing something you love”. Raheil always looked for the future and what she wanted to achieve as a young woman in her community. As a woman Through my working and experimenting new things I face some problems from the community and some of my activities may be viewed as un-usual but I was determined.
“Every step in my life taught me a lot, I am stronger and learning a lot”, she said.
She is one of the co-creation team of Liwan Space, a Youth Hub in Amman which is a safe physical and intellectual space, that aims to facilitate learning, networking and organizing which will enable youth, aged between 15 and 35 years, to claim an enabling space to take active part in and engage in social change processes.
Raheil adventure started when she was chosen to be part of an exchange visit to a youth hub in Denmark in order to share experience, skills, and innovative way to be reflected to the inauguration of a youth hub in Jordan, she said: “I was super excited, experiencing new cultural, new people, new things, knowing the unknown”. Raheil adventure to Denmark taught her a lot, and opened for her doors to new concepts, “I liked the volunteer culture in Denmark which is really popular, they had some unique and unexpected system in the way that you want to learn, experiment, and share ideas, everything was organized, and innovative, I was introduced to new ideas and concepts that changed the way I absorb things”, she said.
She added: “I think our Ministry of Youth should invest more in giving opportunities for youth to travel, discover and exchange ideas and cultural, it will change the way they think”, the youth hub in Denmark was a great experience for Raheil it reflected Raheil’s love to voluntary work, and the tools she will exchange with Liwan Space co-creation team. She said:, The youth hub in Denmark was organized in a different way according to the different culture; they have access to transportation for example; this is vital to make volunteering easy. For that we have to bear in mind the difference between the both cultures) but there is a lot of unique things that can be easily applied here in Liwan, a simple example is how they are using furniture in a smart and environment friendly way”. Raheil hopes that Liwan Space will be a safe space for youth to come and work on empowering themselves.
Liwan Space / youth hub is located in Amman, and it is part of "Strengthening Civic and Political Participation of Youth in Jordan", the project is funded by Danish Arab Partnership Program (DAPP), implemented by Action Aid Arab Region (AA-AR) and their partner Tammey.