Bring Refugee Children Education and a Smile

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!


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


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 


 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


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


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!

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!!

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!

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.   

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"!


Dec 22, 2011

Thanks to you we've ALMOST made it!

Rafat draws an emotion portrait in drama class
Rafat draws an emotion portrait in drama class

Holiday greetings,

Thank you so very much for supporting TYO's education programs in the West Bank. In the past month, your giving has been truly amazing! In fact, we are just $664 away from our annual target and with your help we will certainly reach it before December 31.

Stumped on what to buy that last friend or family member? Here are two ways to avoid the holiday rush and get our project closer to its goal:

Donate to $25 or more to our project and receive limited edition POSTCARDS featuring the photos from our young Palestinian photographers in Nablus. You can also receive a set of NOTE CARDS with watercolor scenes of Jerusalem for a $50 donation to our Women's Entrepreneurship program in Lebanon.

Or give a gift that keeps on giving this year: donate in honor of friends, loved ones, colleagues and send a custom GlobalGiving/TYO tribute card by email or post. Its the third giving option on our project page.

It has been a busy month in Nablus as well. The fall 2011 semester has come to a close most successfully! With your support, children particpated in Drama, Music, Sport, and Art classes taught by our fantastic interns James, Andrew, Abi, and Aimee at the TYO Center.

Have you seen the TYO blog lately? Don't forget to check out some of the highlights from this semester:

  • Its a bird, its a plane....its a TYO Intern!! A day in the life of a TYO intern in comic book style.
  • TYO Color Games!
  • Classes took a field trip to the Qalquilya zoo. Don't miss the VIDEO BLOG!

Thank you again for your continued support of TYO. Every single dollar is greatly appreciated and makes a difference in the lives of the communities we work with.

Best wishes for a happy and healthy 2012!

--The entire TYO Team in Nablus, Beirut, and DC

A proud student makes a clay animal in art class
A proud student makes a clay animal in art class
Feeling strong after sports class at TYO!
Feeling strong after sports class at TYO!
Nov 25, 2011

Tis the Season: Thank you & Holiday Gift Ideas

Thank you for your support!
Thank you for your support!

We cannot believe it's been almost ONE year since TYO arrived on GlobalGiving! On behalf of the entire TYO staff and community in Nablus and beyond, THANK YOU for helping us provide education and a smile to more than 1,000 children in 2011. We could not have done it without you!

This holiday season please help us reach our goal of $10,000 (only $2,615 to go!). Here are THREE easy ways to simplify your holiday shopping AND help us reach our goal:

  1. Donate to $25 or more to our project and receive limited edition POSTCARDS featuring the photos from our young Palestinian photographers in Nablus. You can also receive a set of NOTE CARDS with watercolor scenes of Jerusalem for a $50 donation to our Women's Entrepreneurship program in Lebanon.
  2. Give a gift that keeps on giving this year: donate in honor of friends, loved ones, colleagues and send a custom GlobalGiving/TYO TRIBUTE CARD by email or post. Its the third giving option on our project page.
  3. Take advantage of Cyber Monday shopping and benefit TYO with GOODSHOP. A percentage of purchase from participating online stores goes automatically to TYO.

So skip the lines at the mall this season and bring education and smile to refugee children in Nablus!

With gratitude and hope,

The TYO Team


Oct 18, 2011

Please Support Us on Wednesday October 19!

A smile from Balata
A smile from Balata

Shukran and thank you for helping us provide education and smile to refugee children in the West Bank!

Because of you our talented staff--a blend of Internationals and Palestinians--are able to provide high quality non-formal education to hundreds of children who need it the most.

Want to make your gift go even further?

Starting at 12:01 am EST, on OCTOBER 19, 2011 GlobalGiving will be MATCHING ALL DONATIONS (up to $1,000 per donor, per project) at 30%. There will be $100,000 available in matching funds and matching will last until funds run out (or until 11:59 pm EDT).

Curious about where our students come from?

Read a first hand account "Balata: My first time in a Refugee Camp" written by Abi, a fall 2011 intern at TYO Nablus.

We climb out of the taxi into what looks like a back alleyway but is actually a street in Balata. The buildings are tall structures of concrete; the air is heavy, stagnant and hot. Everything is gray and light brown until we reach the Yaffa Cultural Center where colorful Graffiti covers all of the visible walls. From the roof we can see the entire camp that looks more like a small city and is home to around 30,000 people.

As I walk through Balata, the alleyways become tighter and tighter.  I look up and see a small sliver of blue sky far above; the concrete jungle covers all else. Its like a maze, I am thankful for our local guide who directs us this way and that. Over-crowding, un-healthy water and sanitation are all evident as we walk over small pools of liquid and duck as something is dumped from above onto the concrete street. We look up at the building only about four stories high it is home to almost 100 people.

Imagine growing up in this grid -lock, where do you play? There is no space. This is home to a majority of our students.

I am hit by the significance of this. Of my role at TYO teaching these children in a place that gives them space. It is a place where they can kick a soccer ball and run around. A place to learn in an un-crowded environment; where they are recognized as individuals.  A place where they can just be kids.

I am more than motivated to be their teacher, their coach and their friend.

Again, thank you for your support!

Please stay tuned for more updates from TYO Programs in Nablus via Global Giving or visit our blog for the latest news

Playing in Balata Alleyways
Playing in Balata Alleyways

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Project Leader

Humaira Wakili

Center Director
McLean, VA United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Bring Refugee Children Education and a Smile