Q and A with House of Hope Volunteer Martha Harrasser

Volunteers and interns, and the energy and optimism that they bring are a critical part of House of Hope’s life-giving work. Many volunteers and interns travel from all over the world to bring hope to the young children and women it serves.

In 2016, Martha Harrasser travelled from Germany to volunteer at House of Hope. Below is a brief interview about her experience!

Q. How did you learn about House of Hope?
A. A colleague of mine, Barbara, invited me to join her on our visit to House of Hope.

Q. What inspired you to volunteer at House of Hope?
A. There are many ways to develop society. One of the best ideas, although not the easiest and quickest one, is to think about the education of children.  So I found it interesting to get to know your school, besides that I like to get in contact to people from a different culture.

Q. What was your volunteer experience at House of Hope like?
A. At House of Hope I met happy and not so happy children (as everywhere in the world) and a group of very engaged teachers. After visiting the classes during the lessons, we encouraged children, teachers and mothers to draw and paint. We also made suggestions to improve teaching methods, especially for the lower grades. I learned, that the Palestinian people (the ones I met) are friendly, open minded and are trying hard to work for their children and their future.

Q. Palestinian children are caught in the middle of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. How did Palestinian children you met at House of Hope and other places in the West Bank express the psychological toll of this trauma? 
A. At House of Hope I met, as I mentioned, many happy children. Some were not really happy and a few children had different handicaps. I don’t know if and how these symptoms are connected with traumas.

Q. Is Waldorf therapeutic for children with trauma from war? If so, how?
A. I am not an expert of therapy, but generally Waldorf education gives children the chance to develop their individual strength. Through art and handicraft, children and adults develop a lot of skills, which can help them to manage their lives in a more independent way.

Q. Is there anything you would like to say to someone considering coming to House of Hope to volunteer?
A. Go to the West Bank. Meet interesting people and develop new ideas for House of Hope.

 

If you would like to learn more about volunteering at House of Hope, please click here or email info@supportinghouseofhope.org.