Summer’s work is child’s play

Name: Summer Abuzayeed Summer

Course: MA Community and Youth Work

Graduated: 2012

Nationality: Palestinian

Current employer: Right To Play, Amman, Jordan 

Previous employers: Investing In Children, Moving On, The United Nations Relief
and Works Agency (UNRWA)

I am from Palestine. I was born in ‘Gaza Strip’ and lived there until I was 26 years old. My undergraduate degree was a BA in English Language Teaching from Al-Aqsa University. I wanted to attain a masters degree and applied for a Durham Palestine Educational Trust scholarship and a place to study at Durham University. I was delighted to be enrolled in the School of Applied Social Sciences to complete a MA in Community and Youth Work.

Currently, I work as a ‘Field Supervisor’ at Right To Play organization in Amman, Jordan.

Durham was my choice as it is a very beautiful and safe University. My initial research revealed its great ranking among the UK universities. It is one of the top three universities in the UK in the specialization of humanities and social work. Durham is a beautiful small city which lies close to the countryside with no shortage of tranquility and peace.

I’d say that the best feature of my course is its practical elements. We had two placements in the field at local and international organizations; each placement is 2 months at least. We gained real world experience of issues to directly deal with cases and beneficiaries and were provided with constructive supervisor’s feedback throughout. Both theoretical and practical sides were comprehensive for all important and modern issues in the world. We were prepared to be ideal practitioners who are capable of addressing their community’s needs and problems.

The range of extra-curricular activities to engage in at Durham University is incredible. I registered in the Agriculture Society, Book Club and Writing Club. Along with my academic work I therefore had a very busy schedule.

Right to Play Organization (RTP) works on a very important theory which is the Theory of Change. It has a unique approach to create a sustainable change in the communities by increasing educational levels and awareness for children and young people via using the power of sports and games. It also advocates children and youth rights to play, be safe and access education according to the UN Convention of the Right of the Child and has helped over one million children around the world.

The selection process to my organisation consisted of three-stages.  Initial applications were filtered according to qualifications; qualified candidates were contacted, then invited to complete an exam. The final stage was the face-to-face interview and the offer.

My role has many responsibilities. It is very interesting and rewarding and my main task involves assessing the training needs in the area of collaboration with partners and community supporters. I am also involved in delivering workshops and training to partner organisations, assessing the effectiveness of projects, developing and implementing child protection policies and ensuring they are adhered to. I am trusted to make changes where necessary to create a more positive and safe environment for children.

My education at Durham University was fantastic preparation for this role. The day-to-day interaction with professionals for the whole two years of the course enabled me to enrich my own experience and understanding. The detailed focus on current global issues, management, community mobilization, community and youth policy and practice was ideal for my needs. The experiences gained on the placements with Investing In Children, Moving On allowed me to apply my new knowledge in the real world under the supervision of great practitioners.

My advice to potential and current students is to go for it and make every day in the University count!


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