I graduated in 2013 in June and I started to look for work. It took me 5 months of hard searching before I eventually got to Palestine EFE.
I was running from one place to another to submit my CV, sharing it through Twitter, Facebook, and social media – everyone I knew I asked for a job. To practice nutrition which I studied in school, I knew I had to get a license. But getting a license for nutrition is extremely expensive, and I couldn’t afford it. It was 5 months of stress, frustration, feeling negative, bad and useless.
My parents had been separated for years. Therefore, my mom took the responsibility for her four kids. We didn’t have enough salary to put into the family. So, my mom had to get herself into another job besides teaching, and we had been relying on my grandmother’s salary as well. After years my dad died and unfortunatley my grandma died, and it was really hard not working. I felt heavy on my family.
I heard from my friends about the PEFE training – I was like OK, why not, I’m doing nothing and I am useless now. I went into PEFE and I’m not exaggerating – I thought I was useless with no hope and lots of negative energy.
Everything changed with this training. It’s not just a guide to success in the work place. It is more than that. They taught us what the environment of the work place will be like – how to act smart in the interview - how to market yourself, how to know your strengths and weaknesses, how to work under stress by giving us training and information. Our trainer was very professional, and I want to thank EFE for choosing trainers with high quality standards and professionalism.
Besides all this, and most importantly, it has to do with giving us a positive push – they worked on our psychological status. This is the most important thing – because youth are lost between graduation and work. As youth we need somebody, something, anything to support us and to understand our needs and meet these needs – this is what exactly and really the PEFE institution is doing.
We need the PEFE in every city to reach high stages of development in the society. After graduation is really the stage of “lost.” Therefore, the PEFE understands and holds the youth’s hands and prepares them to very important stage of their life until they reach their real dreams. Really, it took me from a lost state to: yes, I know where I am and I will not lose hope – this is what it was. PEFE does not offer just data, information, and exciting and beneficial activities – it was also positive hope. This is what we need as young people.
PEFE is not a fake organization like many others – it does what it’s supposed to do. It is really beneficial for young people, and we need to spread the awareness of such organizations.
And then after the training program, I finished with a positive energy and started to look at myself in a brighter light, and looked at what I still needed to work on. I started all over again to go to places and hand in my CV, and then PEFE called me for an interview.
I went to the interview and it was perfect – completely excellent. I marketed myself so well – I was so positive in the interview. I got the job! It’s wonderful. I work at Either Insurance Agency – I do not work in my major but it is still related to my minor. The company is so wonderful – how they treat me and care about me – I really want to do more through this company. It opened my eyes to another subject in my life outside of my major. My boss said that if I want more training, I can do it.
Now, I’m studying Hebrew, which is useful for my job and necessary to get my license and I use my salary to pay for it. I feel so good about myself, and I know what I want. I feel so powerful – I found myself.
Without my job, I can’t be who I want to be.
If I could change what happens to young people after they graduate, I would tell companies that they need to give a chance to youth. Youth are full of energy, ready and want to give their power and energy into something useful for their society.
Companies should really take advantage of youth energy because they are the backbone of each and every society. If bosses had spent five months looking for a job, they would know what it feels like to be so depressed and to finally get that chance.
When I was desperate I thought I might have to leave my family and go out of my country to find a job, which was very frustrating for me. Young people have a lot to give to the company and to the country.When I was desperate I thought I might have to leave my family and go out of my country to find a job, which was very frustrating for me. Young people have a lot to give to the company and to the country.
There were differences between the university classes and PEFE classes. In university it was all sitting at the desk and getting information and data whereas at the PEFE training yes there were information and data but with exercise and training on certain situations and even playing roles to get the ideas to us very easily and in an exciting way.
For example: our trainer did games that put us under stress and I learned to focus. We did other games, too, like when our group had to build a structure out of marshmallow and pasta. That training was not about pasta and marshmallow. It was about how to communicate with others, how to deal with others – who will take the lead? Who will follow and take directions? You go into another world when you do those exercises – you get how people think, and notice the different ideas and decisions that are taking place and how work can be fun.
When I think about what it was like for me to enter work after the training – I think other people who didn’t take the training would have felt fear, not so confident and face many difficulties. But for me, I thought it would be fun, that we would be a group of people who will communicate and work together – it was so comfortable. I communicate with my employer, and everything is great.
I am an active volunteer in my community too. Once a week I go to the elderly institutions where I volunteer as a nutritionist, spreading information about a healthy life to elderly people or the people responsible for them. And we clean schools that are in bad condition, prepare free meals for children during Ramadan, and we collect and clean unused clothes then distribute them through a big bazaar for people who can’t afford to buy clothing.
I do this every Friday, which is our weekend, when most people want to relax. But this is relaxing for me. To see the smile on the elderly’s face, they give you positive energy. It is nice. My friends say “we don’t see you anymore – you’re too busy.” So I tell my friends to come with me to the volunteer work – if I don’t give to my society now, when else will I give to it?
Getting to work at my job makes me more happy about who I am – if I didn’t have this work, I wouldn’t be in the psychological stage that is ready to give to people, draw a smile, give hope, spread happiness and positive energy.
What do I want to do in the future? For this moment, I am thinking of continuing in my Hebrew. And I really want to continue a Master’s and PhD hopefully.
My message to youth is to dream, dream, and dream “nothing is impossible until it is done” as Mandela said. I say your limit is not the sky but beyond and such an organization the PEFE opens doors and acts as the key for these dreams.
I found myself again by working. My real dream is to host a TV show for health on the MBC channel. And later I will open my own big center for youth and community work in my own country. Dreams have no limits. PEACE.