Michael Derek Tanju
Michael Derek Tanju

Remarkable Experience

I have been told several times that instead of volunteering, it is better to earn money. However, helping others is also important.

People may think that rather than spending your time helping other people, it is better to find a way of making money. I think they are on the wrong path. Money is crucial to every one of us, but it cannot solve every problem we face in life. Human beings are more important than money.

About three months ago, I finished my project at a kindergarten in Nach-Laod Gun-Shalom in Jerusalem. Then, I moved to the international Academy training center. There I met my three African brothers, Frisch and the manager of the school Michael.

“I always hear rumors about African Asylum seekers in TV, newspapers, on the buses and in the street. I hear Africans have cancer, are drug dealers, gangsters, rape women, and rob houses. However, those who are complaining and blaming black people with these malicious rumors- they only want to jeopardise others. The people who think and speak negatively create hatred and divisions within society.

Michael is the manager of a school, and he didn’t know anything about us, but when he met my friends and I, he was completely shocked. He told me, “I didn’t know that there were people like you who want to come to school to help students. Every time I watch the news I hear a lot of rumors about you in the media but I don’t pay attention to this.” They just want to convince weak people to come to vote for them in order to create more hatred and violence, but the people in the State of Israel love you.” The holy land does not belong to one people, it belongings to every one of us”, he told me. He continued, “we are here to give a helping hand to anyone who needs help and you are one of those people who have been forgotten in the corner of the world. It is my duty to help you every step of the way.”

With one week left to finish the program, I have taken a picture together to remember the support I gave to his students and also the support that I received from him and the State of Israel. During the course of my project I met wonderful people. I gained skills. For example, responsibility, teaching kids from the age of three and five and patience. I also learned how to teach people to think positively even when they are in a terrible situation. I made good friends like Dan, Michael, Jonas, Adams, and Rastafarian. Good Shabbat.

About the Author
In the year of 1993, Micha'el Derek Tanju was born in Darfur. At the age of 3 his parents suddenly were murdered by terrorists, because of this he eventually decided to move to Israel in 2008 from Darfur. He feels very grateful to have attended the school of Ayanot. The Youth Village in Rishon LeTzion, where he learned Hebrew and English. He completed the Israeli National Service and converted to Judaism in 2016. Currently he is studying computer science at the Jerusalem College of Technology.