Tomorrow's Youth Organization

Tomorrow's Youth Organization is a non-profit, non-governmental organization that works in disadvantaged areas of the Middle East, enabling children, youth and parents to realize their potential as healthy, active and responsible family and community members.
Mar 12, 2012

Multiply YOUR IMPACT to women entrepreneurs in Lebanon by 30% on GlobalGiving's Bonus Day!

The women celebrate International Women
The women celebrate International Women's Day!

Tomorrow’s Youth Organization celebrates International Women’s Day and GlobalGiving’s first Bonus Day of 2012 with the Women Entrepreneurs in Lebanon program!

On Wednesday March 14th, 2012, GlobalGiving will match one donation per donor at 30% on behalf of GlobalGiving and an exponential sum on behalf of the wonderful donors that contribute to GlobalGiving projects!

What does that mean? For every donation a TYO donor makes to support women entrepreneurs in Lebanon, GlobalGiving will match nearly a third of that donation directly to TYO’s campaign! So if you give $100 or $1,000 today, you could make a $130 or $1,300 net impact on aspiring women entrepreneurs in Lebanon!

Last year, this initiative raised over $800,000 for GlobalGiving partners like TYO and we hope you can contribute to make this campaign a smashing success just in time to celebrate International Women’s Day for the month of March!

International Women’s Day (March 8, 2012), was established in the early 1900s to rally supporters for various women’s causes through the ages—from the suffrage movement to women’s health to equality in wages and employment.  This year in honor of International Women’s Day, empower women entrepreneurs to blaze their own trails in Lebanese history with business plans, schemas, and strategies to improve and influence positive change in their communities!

IN LEBANON!
The women have been hard at work in their Spring courses thus far, advancing in Business English, Basic Computer Literacy, and Advanced Accounting alongside an incubation period with our partners at the Business Incubation Association (BIAT) facility in Beirut. TYO and the WEL program coordinators are currently preparing them for their upcoming training and finance plan strategy sessions with Kafalat, a local Lebanese institution known for subsidized loan assistance. Additional support is being provided in trainings for quality control of goods, technical support, access to the Souk el Tayeb Distribution network, access to markets for the sale of their goods, and mentorship. Earlier this month, TYO eagerly welcomed the team from the Cherie Blair Foundation, one of our strongest supporters of the WEL Program, to introduce our entrepreneurs and to initiate brainstorming sessions on challenges of the past few months and strides to move forward. His Excellency Mexican Ambassador Jorge Alvarez joined the event as a keen project supporter and contributing voice to the efforts of the WEL program and the Blair team.

CRUNCHING NUMBERS!
As we surge forward, crunching numbers with the women for impending financial planning, we hope you might be able to crunch numbers in TYO’s favor and make a contribution, however large or small, on GlobalGiving’s Bonus Day, March 14, 2012. The earliest donations stand the greatest chance of impact, so start your morning off right and give a little to change a lot for the women entrepreneurs of Lebanon! TYO thanks you in advance for your continued support!

The women join activities for Int
The women join activities for Int'l Women's Day!
TYO raises the banner for women
TYO raises the banner for women's entrepreneurship
Women speak up on behalf of their fellow women
Women speak up on behalf of their fellow women
Building banners to celebrate
Building banners to celebrate
The Cherie Blair Foundation team pays a visit
The Cherie Blair Foundation team pays a visit
Three cheers for the women of the world!
Three cheers for the women of the world!

Links:

Feb 14, 2012

Forget the chocolates...how about some accounting software?

WEL participants prepare for a training
WEL participants prepare for a training

"My only ambition in life is to be self-confident. I am working hard on my skills, particularly to enhance both my communication and marketing abilities. I used to decorate for people from different villages on different occasions and this experience encouraged me to start thinking of having green houses to plant different kinds of flowers."
                                    - Ms. Halimeh Al Chaar, WEL Empower 20 participant

This year instead of a traditional Valentine's Day, GlobalGiving embraces the celebration of Global Generosity Day! That means, "in addition to (or instead of?) the heart-shaped box of chocolates and pricey romantic dinner, give the gift of a not-so-random act of kindness!" Make your Valentine a Lebanese woman in need by donating to TYO's Women Entrepreneurs in Lebanon project! These lovely ladies don't need chocolates or plush teddy bears, but they do need your support as they strive to improve their communities with a leadership business endeavor.

Therefore, this month, TYO would like to highlight some of the most promising women entrepreneurs in our Women Entrepreneurs in Lebanon project. Thanks to your fantastic support these women will prepare to advance into Phase 3 of the training program! Phase 3 includes additional trainings in Business English, IT, and an incubation period to cultivate smart, fiscally-sound financial strategies. Therefore, without further adieu, we are proud to introduce TYO's WEL TOP TEN ENTREPRENEURS...

  • Ms. Asma Ayoumi: Asma's unique re-invigoration of traditional olive recipes has locals exclaiming: "OMG- Olives Made Great!" With her tasty creations mixing special blends and herbs, we are sure with a snazzy business plan, her outstanding olives will be a huge hit in the local market in coming months!

  • Ms. Sahar Abou Doleh:  As the saying goes- “You catch more flies with honey than vinegar,” and with Sahar’s honey, we’re sure she’ll be luring in flies, furry creatures, and all sorts of the two-legged variety as she expands her special Cedar Honey business throughout Lebanon and into the global marketplace. Success never tasted so sweet!

  • Ms. Maysa Kassem: WEL is all about rewarding visionaries who assess a critical need in their communities and use their talents and skills to fulfill that need. Maysa certainly fits the mold, and after identifying her community’s need for faxing, photocopying, and printing services and materials, with training from WEL, she will be opening her very own stationary shop. Now that is a woman making a difference!

  • Ms. Aziza Abdel Rahim: Many of the women WEL works with are first-time entrepreneurs intrepid enough to take risks to step into the uncertain entrepreneurial world. Aziza once ran her own successful dairy business, run into the ground during the war in 2007. Now she is back and more eager than ever to roll up her sleeves and set an example for fledging women entrepreneurs in WEL and all over Lebanon. Way to make moooooooves, Aziza!

  • Ms. Rima al Rachid: The women entrepreneurs of WEL have proved time and again that a woman’s place is not only in the kitchen. Rima extends that notion with her tiling business, demonstrating a woman’s influence all over the house, office, and places of community gathering. She now hopes to scale up her Tile Manufacturing Company and increase her client base throughout the community.

  • Ms. Soumaya Jokmak: Anyone with a sweet tooth has a soft spot for Soumaya’s delectable delicacies— dried fruit combined with chocolate and in traditional Maamoul! We like to think of her products as cavities for a cause—support of a savvy aspiring businesswoman and tasty treats to get you through the day (and night)!

  • Ms. Layali Chaaban: WEL gives three thumbs up to innovative minds able to adapt to the changing demands of the marketplace. Realizing that while consumers admired her faux flower designs and arrangements, a niche existed for aromatic fresh flower bouquets, Layali created a business plan to respond. She now intends to scale up her existing business to incorporate the evolving demand!

  • Ms. Salma Ajaj: A seasoned entrepreneurial pro, Salma has 35 years of business experience with her traditional Lebanese handicrafts, crochet, and tricot. With a robust employee base, she prepares to serve a greater sector of her local community with the knowledge and practice she gains from participating in the WEL program.

  • Ms. Lamia Sawan: Lamia has been preserving more than herbs and legumes by leading women in her local community for the past several years. By maintaining traditional Lebanese mouneh practices, she crystallizes the history of Lebanese cuisine and the pride of a community with each of the women she works with. Looking back to look forward. Great job, Lamia!

  • Ms. Howayda Sharaf al Dine:  But what about those lacking Lamia’s help in the kitchen? Never fear, Howayda is here with her new catering business! Howayda recognized the need for traditional Lebanese cuisine in the homes of those unable to prepare it themselves and has brainstormed a creative solution to keep full bellies and happy hearts.

"Since I was young, I have enjoyed preparing food. I have bought [cook]books in Arabic and French, about old and new recipes. In addition, my deep knowledge in hygiene and nutrition issues as well as participating in several trainings on food processing were the key factors in doing a catering project with special packaging in order to distribute the product to supermarkets, restaurants, hotels, hospitals and related institutions."
                                  -
Ms. Howayda Sharaf al Dine, WEL Top 10 participant  

These ten women are just a sample of the ambitious and exciting projects being supported by the Women Entrepreneurs in Lebanon project. As you can see, these women are eager for success and relish every moment they are able to spend improving their skills and widening the path to greater economic security and community development with WEL. Thank you for your support! We look forward to charting their progress and cheering them on as they complete their training and sincerely hope you will continue to show your support at this crucial juncture on their paths to success!

For more details on the happenings in the TYO WEL project, be sure to take a peek at the TYO Blog where we chronicle the women’s journeys!

WEL participants in business training session
WEL participants in business training session
TYO staff meets with WEL participants
TYO staff meets with WEL participants
WEL participants at conference
WEL participants at conference
TYO Director Andres Smith presents WEL award
TYO Director Andres Smith presents WEL award
WEL women with Cherie Blair of Cherie Blair Fdn.
WEL women with Cherie Blair of Cherie Blair Fdn.
WEL participants celebrate successful training
WEL participants celebrate successful training

Links:

Feb 13, 2012

TYO springs into Spring Session!

A Core Program participant grins in fuzzy new hat
A Core Program participant grins in fuzzy new hat

TYO has taken off to a running start with the Spring Session in Nablus! We welcome four new American interns and a host of new and returning local volunteers as we open the doors to the eager faces and feet of little ones filling our corridors once more.

The year is still young, but so far a number of exciting developments have been happening thanks to the generous support of donors like you!

-MORE TIME TO LEARN!
We have extended morning classroom time for young learners in our Core Program, offering an additional thirty minutes of valuable exploration in the art, sports, story-telling and imagination rooms. This is a fantastic addition for children who have no toys at home and look to their mornings at TYO for educational recreation each week. Needless to say, they were thrilled!!

-WARM WINTER WEAR!
Each child at the Nablus center received a bag FULL of warm winter clothes during the holiday season. Over 360 children, ages 4-14, picked up these prized parcels containing sweaters, shoes, long underwear, socks, hats, and scarves among other wonderful winter items to get them through the cold months in mostly unheated housing in the refugee camps. Three cheers for fingers, toes, and a toasty, warm nose!

-NEW LOCAL VOLUNTEERS!
TYO also greeted new and returning volunteers, recent graduates and students from An-Najah University. These volunteers have ambitiously signed up to give back to their communities and by providing funds for the resources they use in the classroom (snacks for the students, sports equipment, transportation for TYO field trips), your contribution helps to magnify the impact of their commitment.   

-NEW INTERNATIONAL INTERNS!
Thanks to your generous backing and TYO’s Public Diplomacy Partnership with the US Consulate in Jerusalem, our four new interns—Nawal, Laura, Claudia, and Anna—have also arrived in Nablus for the spring term! Daily, our interns work side by side with our Palestinian volunteers, bridging the cultural gap and serving the community of Nablus and surrounding camps. As they unpack bags and preconceptions about life in the West Bank, the girls offer a bird’s eye view of their first few weeks on the ground:

Walking through the Old City, I see kids playing amongst abandoned cars and in vacant lots, where factories or houses once stood. In place of a ball or toys, a dirt pile and a couple of sticks are used for entertainment. This is their playground. It is a long road ahead, but I know that my time here will be worth every minute and truly make a difference in the lives of those who need it most.”
-
Nawal, University of Pennsylvania

“In the US, a great deal of significance is place on the ability to shelter young children from anything deemed too scary, overwhelming, or serious. I think we all hope to protect children from the harsh realities of the world, but here, shared history binds the community together and fulfills a real need for healing.”
Laura, University of Chicago

“In touring the Old City in Nablus, we came across many martyr photographs and plaques erected in memory of those lost to violence. I learned that the Arabic word for “martyr” does not have the same simplistic meaning as what we use for its English counterpart. Martyr in Arabic also means “witness.”  I now understand that the people in these pictures were not necessarily aggressors, but instead victims of violence and cultural misunderstandings.”
-Claudia, Georgetown University

 “On the first day of classes, we went to greet the teary four-to-eight year olds from the Core Program – an experience that taught me that my Arabic is not comprehensible to little kids and, in fact, just makes them cry harder. By the end of the day, though, their trepidation had dissolved as they stomped and shouted “Ihna shabaab al-Filusteen!” [“We are the youth of Palestine!”]. I can only imagine the transformations that are yet to come, for them and for me. The door is open; I’m just waiting to see what will transpire inside.”
–Anna, Middlebury College

Want more insight into what TYO has been working on since the holidays? Read more into intern experiences in Nablus or take a peek at the TYO blog to get more stories, personal accounts, and exciting adventures as we move forward into Spring!

Young girls in Core Program work together!
Young girls in Core Program work together!
Getting creative during extended crafts time!
Getting creative during extended crafts time!
Snack time is always fun time at TYO
Snack time is always fun time at TYO
Volunteers and interns race with the kids
Volunteers and interns race with the kids
Art class with a twist!
Art class with a twist!
Volunteer teaches how to "shoot hoops"!
Volunteer teaches how to "shoot hoops"!

Links:

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