Helping Hand for Relief and Development (HHRD) strongly believes that the youth of today will build the future of tomorrow. To do their part in ensuring the future is bright, HHRD created the Youth Empowerment Program. This program offers the younger generation an opportunity to become involved in HHRD’s humanitarian efforts across the world. The youth who become part of this program are given the skills, tools, and directions necessary to become familiar with the crisis relief efforts that HHRD conducts.
The program itself has only a few requirements. You must be 18-25 years old, be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, and enrolled in a high school or accredited college. They are also able to take those who are in between high school and college, who have been accepted into a college program. HHRD offers unique and potentially life-changing experiences to those who meet these qualifications. While the program for 2020 was canceled due to covid-19, HHRD is committed to continuing to offer these internships once it’s safe to do so.
The Youth For Haiti program allows the participants to travel to Haiti and live in the region. While they are living in the region, they participate in most of the programs and services that HHRD offers. In previous years, the participants assisted in the development of the Masjid Community Center in Haiti. Within the community center, participants were allowed to teach classes through HHRD’s education services. The children they are teaching identify with the younger interns and are given a unique perspective through interactive lessons. The Youth For Haiti program also assisted in setting up medical clinics for HHRD’s healthcare services.
While the participants are not qualified to give medical assistance, they are given the opportunity to learn about the steps involved in running a relief effort in crisis situations. They can also help with the organization and logistics of incoming patients within the clinic itself. Another main relief effort the youths assist with are those for orphaned children. The team at HHRD finds that orphans are more receptive to interacting with people closer to their own age. The Youth For Haiti team packed and distributed school supplies, taught classes for the orphans, and enjoyed playing with them during their free time.
Another major relief effort that the Youth Empowerment Program has undertaken, is the Youth For Jordan program. Youth efforts in Jordan are similar to those in Haiti in their focus. The youth team spent time with orphaned refugees and enjoyed activities like helping prepare and eat meals, and taking them on trips as friends/chaperones. The team worked within one of HHRD’s Skills Development Center programs and learned about the steps involved in running the operations. These experiences teach the youths of their own good fortune and expand their worldview. The Youth For Jordan team also worked with HHRD’s disability programs and saw the challenges that face the disabled in developing countries. They helped teach classes, serve meals, and played with the children.
HHRD aims to provide students with an opportunity to work with the most dedicated relief workers they have. This Summer Internship Program gives its participants a unique chance to gain valuable life, leadership, and professional experience through mentorship. Each year, around 200 students apply to this program and work with HHRD’s exceptional team for 2 months. They learn skills in human resources, marketing, public relations, information technology, and event planning. To learn more and to participate in this program when it resumes, visit their website.