From School Drop-Out to Mentor
“What can I do to help my son?” thought Khalid’s desperate dad. 17-year-old Khalid really hasn’t had an easy life. On top on of always being bullied in school he also has general learning difficulties. In the end school problems seemed so insurmountable that Khalid dropped out. This was when his dad remembered having heard about JOHUD’s Innovation Lab as a place welcoming everyone.
When Khalid started in the Innovation Lab the staff quickly realised that he had special needs and that they would have to approach him differently, so they tried to find out what his specific interests were. “I just like to draw” was what Khalid answered when the staff asked him what he liked to do. That opened a door to the staff teaching him how to draw on a computer and how to work in Photoshop. As time passed in JOHUD’s Innovation Lab, Khalid took more and more initiative, and he started using the music room a lot. He even taught himself learn how to drum only using online tools. Dunia, a staff member, says: “It has been great to see how Khalid has developed during his time here. He has so much potential that no one seemed to notice. Now he even helps new kids in the Innovation Lab with music and when he turns 18 he will officially be a mentor. It is just amazing!”
A year ago when Khalid first visited the Innovation Lab after having dropped out of school. Now he has not just proven to himself and people around him how much he is actually capable of, he is even sharing what he knows with other kids and young people who benefit from the Innovation Lab. This way Khalid can now help the Innovation Lab reach even more people and encourage them to develop their interests and skills.