The University of Westminster’s AlSadi Changing Lives Programme, which gives students the opportunity to volunteer in Jordan, had an impressive inaugural trip last week with the first cohort of students embarking on the life-changing opportunity. The Westminster students made a difference to the lives of children and refugees living in the country.

A diverse group of 14 students volunteered with local communities, learnt about the culture and rich heritage of Jordan, and developed skills that will make them globally-engaged and highly employable future graduates.

The trip, which ran from Friday 16 September until Sunday 25 September, saw the students take part in activities designed to enhance the lives of school children and refugees in Jordan. This included visiting the Madrasati Alkindi Boys School in Ruseifeh, the Gaza Refugee camp in Jerash and the Pricess Taghrid Institute, a foundation which provides disadvantaged young people with training. Another key part of the programme is learning about the history of Jordan and its social and political landscape. For example, the group was able to visit the spectacular Jerash ruins. The students also had a chance to meet alumni of the University at a special networking reception in Amman.

Holly Patrick, a third-year student who is studying Journalism, said: “I have always wanted to travel to the Middle East and experience life in Jordan but have never had the capacity to do so. We’re often creatures of habit so it’s been an amazing experience to do something so different to my usual routine, and look beyond my life in London. I’ve met some incredible people here and I’m so grateful to Dr Majid AlSadi for making this experience possible. I am really glad I chose to study at Westminster and to be given an opportunity to travel overseas as part of my degree.”

The Changing Lives Programme has been made possible by the generosity of Dr Majid AlSadi, Chair and CEO of Eastern Holding, and one of Jordan’s leading philanthropists committed to providing opportunities for young people. The programme will give at least 70 students the opportunity to visit Jordan across five trips in the next two years.

Global engagement is key to the University’s strategic vision, and the Changing Lives programme supports our aim to provide students with outward mobility opportunities which will give them the skills to operate in an increasingly globalised and internationalised world.

Chris Smith, Director of Development and Alumni Relations, said: “I’d like to thank Dr Majid AlSadi for his ongoing support in providing students with this global opportunity. The Changing Lives Programme is so important for enhancing the student experience at Westminster, and we hope to develop further opportunities like this to many more students in the future.”

Find out more about The Global Engagement Strategy.

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