Maaram’s interview has been lightly edited for accuracy and clarity.
Q1: First, would you like to give me a little background on yourself – where are you from, what is your educational background, and what is your previous work experience?
"I'm a computer engineer. I started my career path in 2013 with my major in computer engineering and telecommunications. Then, I moved to the NGO domain. I started my NGO path with Mercy Corps, with a project called Nubader, for youth, which was supporting youth [in different ways], with some educational and psychosocial support, particularly for refugees here in Jordan. I was technology-fascinated, and we were responsible for community initiatives. We do a large number of initiatives with youth. Then I moved to JRF, which is the Jordan River Foundation. I worked with a project called the Makani project, which was funded by UNICEF. I was an IT trainer, and a skills building trainer. This is my previous experience. Also, I worked as a digital education officer for a few months. Then I moved to JRS as an IT trainer recently. Two weeks ago, almost."
You certainly hit the ground running!
"Yes [laughs]. I met the beneficiaries, the students. I have had maybe two or three training sessions I did with them. My feedback was good. About the students – I came to them at the end of part one, and I’m continuing with what my colleagues have already started. I delivered about three sessions on Excel. I’m trying to build a good relationship with them to make them comfortable with a new trainer, and to make them sure they will get what they came for."
Q2: Can you give me an example of how a typical day goes when training the students? How do you structure class?
"I will come prepared with the material: examples, what we will do during the class, how to start the introduction, what strategies and tools I will use. There are a lot of tools and examples to start our daily tasks: the concepts of the lesson, the exercises, how to make them engaged with the lesson, how to group them during the task, how we will meet our goals from the exercises, what we will achieve… things like that."
Q4: Have there been any notable challenges thus far in your training?
"I think I came at the end of one module and the start of another module. I need to review all the Drive documents, the places where the shared documents are, see where there are resources, where there is the material. It all takes more time from me. I’m a newcomer and I sometimes want to ask questions to my colleagues, [like] 'where is that,' and 'where is this,' and how to continue."
I can imagine jumping into the middle of the program would be difficult.
"The previous sessions were very good with the students. The examples, the goals, the lessons, the activities, the home assignments – it was very good. But I need more time to review all the documents, the drives… it takes more time from me, and effort. Especially because I enrolled directly. I just want to create my own style."
Q6: How do you see the Digital Inclusion Program impacting the students?
"I think it’s very important, especially because we have a lot of vulnerable people and refugees who need this type of training. They need to continue their path, they need to get new knowledge for free, so this is very good for them during this time. Some of them have special situations, and I think this will build a new path for them. Some of them are very good, very excellent. When they gain knowledge, they are excited to learn more and they are excited to start a new path. I think they will benefit from freelancing."
Q7: Do you see freelancing as being important in the future?
"I think freelancing is very important, yes. Because for some refugees, it will be more dynamic for them. It will be easier to start an online career because there’s no restrictions."
Q8: Do you have anything else you would like to share?
"I want to thank you, and I am motivated and excited to start and continue the course. I’m confident that the students will succeed and will start to make their own paths."