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.
Apr 29, 2012

The Joys of Spring with Refugee Children of Nablus

Train time at Beita Amusement Park!
Train time at Beita Amusement Park!

What’s the best way to make a child smile this spring? By making a mother’s day on Mother’s Day! Spread the joys of spring by making a contribution to support disadvantaged children in Palestine and enterprising mothers in Lebanon. With generous donations of $50 and above, you will receive a note card set of five cards featuring gorgeous watercolor scenes from historic Jerusalem!

As quickly as it came, the spring semester is just about behind us. As we prepare for the oncoming heat waves of summer, TYO takes a moment to reflect on the joys of spring in Nablus.

“My students face barriers that seem insurmountable; they have encountered violence, hunger, an indifferent education, and more. They carry burdens too heavy for adults, while they are still children. As such, my moments of greatest triumph this session have been witnessing my students reclaim childhood.”

 – Karen Campion, TYO Fellow, Princeton University International ReachOut Fellow

Nothing says spring has sprung like a trip to Beita Amusement Park just outside of Nablus! This year, students celebrated the last day of the spring session with a visit to a fun-filled playland on the outskirts of Nablus. For many, this was their first trip to an amusement park and they were thrilled! It’s not hard to imagine the joy in their eyes as they raced to the locomotives and Ferris wheels and enjoyed frolicking in the fresh mountain air. Trips like this visit to Beita help incentivize attendance and encourage participation by all children in the Core Child Program.

The kids got active and became activists this spring, racing and recycling for TYO’s Racing the Planet challenge! Beginning on May 12, 2012, ultramarathon runner Usama Malik  will race a staggering 156-miles across Jordan to raise $50K in 50 Days in support of TYO’s Core Child Program. To get students involved, this spring, TYO held a series of Racing the Planet games aimed at exposing children to physical activity and environment-friendly initiatives in Nablus. From three-legged races to balloon-popping fun, children learned the value of sportsmanship and teamwork with a dose of competition during the games. At the end of the day, every team was a winning team from “best spirit” to “most enthusiastic”  to “fastest racers.” Students also learned how to turn trash to treasures, working on ten different projects designed to create things such as flowers from plastic bags, pencil holders from cans, candleholders from milk cartons, and many more. Students practiced resourcefulness, critical thinking, creativity, and patience. Check out more on the $50K in 50 Days campaign challenge with Usama’s video-blogging!

True to spring, blossoms bloom and seeds are planted as TYO bids farewell to spring interns and welcomes new! As all good things come to a close, TYO’s interns, participants in the International Internship Program, wrapped up their time in Nablus with heartfelt reflections. See what they had to say! And don’t forget to check out what TYO’s newest intern Asma had to say about her arrival in Nablus. Asma is a Palestinian-American earning her Masters in Public Policy at Harvard University. Asma will be teaching an Oral History class to 10-12 year olds as well as a Professional Competency class to students at An-Najah University.  

“This is what makes TYO special – its unique position to help children discover their strengths and passions.”

- Asma, TYO intern, Masters in Public Policy, Harvard University

This spring, your contribution will go a long way towards brightening the smiles of Palestinian child refugees and Lebanese women entrepreneurs in need. TYO thanks you for your support!

Celebrations abound during racing games!
Celebrations abound during racing games!
Movie time in action-packed 3-D!
Movie time in action-packed 3-D!
Students take sides to race the planet!
Students take sides to race the planet!
Interns pause for a moment to recharge.
Interns pause for a moment to recharge.
Participant discovers the joys of bounce!
Participant discovers the joys of bounce!

Links:

Apr 29, 2012

Make a mother's day on Mother's Day this spring!

WEL program participants with Ambassador Fletcher
WEL program participants with Ambassador Fletcher

Want to make a mother smile this spring? Make a mother's day on Mother's Day with your $50 contribution towards business training workshops for women entrepreneurs in Lebanon. With your generous donation, you will receive a note card set of five cards featuring gorgeous watercolor scenes from historic Jerusalem!

This has certainly been an exciting spring for the women of TYO’s WEL program! Over the past few weeks, a number of noteworthy visits have taken place, motivating our budding entrepreneurs and giving them their much-deserved moment in the limelight.

“You are proving that glass ceilings are breakable…Lebanon would be more prosperous and stable with more women in the boardrooms and cabinet rooms… I believe you will be the people to prove it.”

– H.E. British Ambassador to Lebanon Tom Fletcher

FEBRUARY 2012:Cherie Blair Foundation for Women

Closing out the month of love, WEL program stakeholders from the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women showed the WEL participants some love with a visit to WEL’s Beirut offices at the end of February. CBFW Business Support Programme Coordinator Priya Patel and Business Support Programme Manager Lucy Hayter had the chance to meet with program participants Ms. Rima al Rachid, Ms. Soumaya Jokmak and Ms. Houwayda Sharaf el Dine. (If you remember, Ms. Rachid is hard at work laying the groundwork for her Tiling Manufacturing Company; Ms. Jokmak is still wowing with her cavities for a cause (delectable traditional desserts!); and Ms. Sharaf al Dine is feeding hungry Lebanese families with her mouth-watering catering business.) A special visit by His Excellency Mexican Ambassador Jorge Alvarez, an avid WEL supporter, rounded off the three-day tour fantastically!

MARCH 2012: H.E. Ambassador Tom Fletcher

Wrapping up March on the heels of International Women’s Day, WEL participants received a special treat as the honored guests of His Excellency British Ambassador Tom Fletcher at his home in Beirut. Ambassador Fletcher played host to a select group of accomplished women in business, education, media, sports, and arts in Lebanon, including prominent journalist and EU Ambassador May Chidiac, actress, comedian, and drama therapist Zeina Dakache, and Olympic sports star Andria Paouli; WEL participants were overjoyed to have been selected amongst this celebrated group of high-achievers.

APRIL 2012: Columbia University's Pangea Advisors

Earlier this month, Mallika Daswani, Eric Kuo, and Eric Amaso, representatives of the Pangea Advisors group from Columbia University’s Business School spent time on the ground in Lebanon investigating strategies to enhance online platforms for digital marketing and awareness-building. The Pangea team encountered the warmth of Lebanese hospitality, the savory palatability of Lebanese cuisine courtesy of WEL entrepreneurs, and the frustrations of the Lebanese financial system as they learned about measures blocking interest rates in Lebanon. An insightful, impactful, and inspiring visit for all!

“Entrepreneurs in the region are met with uncommon challenges, but these challenges are clearly compounded for aspiring women entrepreneurs. TYO has developed creative solutions in order to overcome these hurdles, which can have a significant impact not only for women entrepreneurs but for the entire region as a whole.”

Eric Amaso, Columbia Business School, MBA Candidate, Class of 2013

With a parade of new faces taking note of the ambitious women of WEL, we hope that you too might take note of the incredible work these women are doing to reverse the “brain drain” of successful entrepreneurship in Lebanon. This year, you can make a mother’s day on Mother’s Day by supporting TYO and the women of WEL. Donations of $50 or above receive a note card set of five cards featuring gorgeous watercolor scenes from historic Jerusalem!

Your continued support is tremendously appreciated. Stay tuned to more updates on TYO's blog!

WEL women at Ambassador Fletcher
WEL women at Ambassador Fletcher's home
Pangea Advisors sample WEL women
Pangea Advisors sample WEL women's cooking
WEL women with Cherie Blair of Cherie Blair Fdn.
WEL women with Cherie Blair of Cherie Blair Fdn.

Links:

Mar 12, 2012

Multiply YOUR IMPACT for child refugees by 30% on Bonus Day!

TYO kids learn skills in computer literacy
TYO kids learn skills in computer literacy

Today, 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 like yourself that contribute to GlobalGiving projects.

What does that mean? For every donation a TYO donor makes to support child refugees, 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 child refugees in Nablus!

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 for the children of Nablus!

Over the past month, the children of the TYO Core Child Program have been undertaking a variety of new subjects and activities as we enter into the Spring session. Take a peek inside the classrooms with the kids of TYO!

ON THE STAGE

Students took to the stage in Jawad’s Drama class creating scenes of life in Palestine and expressing a range of emotions, motions, and commotion never before experienced in the classroom. Students were able to increase self-awareness, self-confidence, coordination, and public speaking while working in an environment that fostered creativity and imagination from each child.

“One such success story involves a child named Hama. People thought that he was unable to talk. Slowly, he started to participate in drama activities and began to express himself.  Now, he has the voice to talk and express how he feels with the other children.”

–Jawad, Drama Instructor

IN THE LAB

When things go BOOM! in the TYO classroom, it’s usually a sign all is well. At least that was the case this month as students worked to build volcanoes in their science lab, learning about acids, bases, and combustibles in volcanic eruptions as well as the properties of the slippery substance “Gluep.” None of the wide-eyed students had EVER had the thrill, pleasure, and enriching educational experience of conducting a lab experiment in class before, much less with vinegar and baking soda or corn starch and water as their investigative instruments. Needless to say the science lab in our critical thinking class left students positively erupting with shrieks of joy and excitement the whole day long!

“All of these science projects not only solidify concepts that my students may learn in school textbooks, but they also allow them to have experiences that they never imagined possible.”

-Clare, TYO Teaching Fellow 

AT THE PLAYGROUND

 In schools around the world, what’s a child’s favorite time of the day? RECESS! As more than two-thirds of the children TYO serves don’t get the opportunity to get out and play at sports or recreational activity, one of the core values of the program is to instill teamwork and physical activity into their daily routines. Children get the chance to expend energy, build strategy, and join together as a class with fun games and activities on the playground. Games like “The Escaping Hula-Hoop” and “Numbers Race” become classroom favorites the children carry home and into their neighborhoods with other local children.

“I hope that I have helped these children to develop a healthy and creative approach to life, as well as personalities that will allow them to be creative and productive members of their families and communities, despite the tough environment that they live in.”

–Haitham, Sports Instructor

AROUND THE STORY-TELLING CIRCLE

One of TYO’s most important contributions to the community is a multicultural environment where people from different backgrounds, ethics and religions can interact with each other and hear other people’s stories. Therapeutic storytelling forms an avenue by which children are able to communicate with one another, with TYO staff, as well as with their families and communities about the experiences they must face on a daily basis. In this way, children are able to process their experiences and translate them into productive and cathartic stories through which they find release and a safe outlet.

“Although we are individuals, our stories are all connected and related. There is no better place to explore the individual and cultural sources of narrative than at a multicultural center like Tomorrow’s Youth Organization.”

– Suhad, Psychosocial Program Manager

So as we move ahead into a promising Spring with the children of TYO’s Core Program, in addition to our thriving International Internship Program and Youth Development projects, we ask that you might pause to 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 youth of Nablus!

TYO thanks you in advance for your continued support!

TYO students learn what goes BOOM!
TYO students learn what goes BOOM!
TYO kids take to the stage with Jawad
TYO kids take to the stage with Jawad
Story-telling builds self-awareness
Story-telling builds self-awareness
Kids get creative at the playground
Kids get creative at the playground
Expression as a means of development
Expression as a means of development

Links:

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