I jumped at the opportunity to volunteer in the Corporate Responsibility (CR) event organized by Deloitte Lebanon with SOS children’s village. It was a unique occasion to give back to my community and to try to make a positive influence on the lives of a group of teenagers, the members of SOS family.

Our role as Deloitte volunteers was to raise awareness about the importance of education as a key tool to seize all opportunities and make the most out of their lives.

Upon arriving at our destination, we were escorted to a room full of kids of various ages, some of whom were very welcoming, whereas others were more shy and distant. Through a set of interactive games set up by our HR/CR team, we were able to interact with them at ease.

Children were divided into smaller groups and were asked to try to imagine and draw their vision of their future. Some wanted to be footballers, lawyers, doctors and so on. One of the kids who stood out during that day was, Karim, a 15 year old new joiner to the SOS family. Kareem was less open to engage with other children and to express himself properly. Yet, after giving him the adequate attention and support, he was able to sync in and follow the other children’s pace.

Throughout all activities, which included exploring the village, watching a magic show, and playing different games, I tried to engage with the children in discussions about the importance of education, future opportunities, possible career or education paths and many others.

This opportunity to meet and engage with these unique children was very eye-opening and reminded me that indeed, actions speak louder than words.

My only words of advice would be: Be courageous; don’t be afraid to take charge of your destiny as challenging as the road will sometimes be. To make your mark, seize those opportunities through your strongest weapon “EDUCATION” to show the world who you truly are.

By: John Assaf, “Tadarab” program intern at Deloitte Middle East

“Tadarab” is a Deloitte Middle East talent development program that offers selected college students real-world experience and valuable learning opportunities. It exposes interns to actual work assignments and development through access to over 50,000 eLearning courses. An intern goes through an induction program (Mini Ahlan) and is assigned a buddy for the duration of the internship. Deloitte has received numerous awards in the last few years which include Best Employer in the Middle East, and the Middle East Training & Development Excellence Award by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).

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