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Apr 7, 2019

English for Business - Breaking Down Walls!

Ruba presents her business idea to the class!
Ruba presents her business idea to the class!

Through the reports on GlobalGiving, Tomorrow’s Youth Organization keeps our supporters updated about what happens with the donations we receive. This is possible because of one basic tool that we share, so obvious and omnipresent that it might have become invisible: the English language. In an age of globalization, the importance of a common language that transcends borders is undeniable. English enables the communication that has created the global markets that built our modern world.

Aware of the importance English in the world of business and communication, the ambitious participants of TYO’s Entrepreneurship Program took part in a four-week Business English course between February and March 2019.

That in business there is no way around English is evidenced by the fact that the entrepreneurs had already come across many English terms during the preceding nine weeks of business courses in which they developed their business plans. Strategic framework, opportunity analysis, driving force - some of the entrepreneurs were familiar with the terminology, while others were completely new to it. Because of the varying levels, TYO decided to offer a beginner and an advanced level Business English class.

While the beginner level focused on giving participants the vocabulary and confidence to introduce themselves and their business idea in English, the advanced course implemented activities that aimed to also develop public speaking and critical thinking skills. Instructors pushed and encouraged participants to hold unscripted conversations, which challenged them to think quickly about relaying information in a concise manner. In addition, regular feedback on writing exercises was an important aspect of the course, as pre-assessments had shown that many participants struggled with writing clearly and without mistakes.

Many participants expressed enjoyment in activities that allowed them to be creative. One example of this was describing hypothetical ‘silly business ideas’ that would never work in the Palestinian context. The participants were then asked to swap their idea with someone else and pitch the other’s idea to the group. This activity worked on developing participants’ public speaking and persuasive communication skills, as well as their poker faces!

After the course had come to an end, post-assessments showed that almost all participants had made significant progress. Interestingly, whereas writing had previously been the weakest spot for many, this was now the area with the highest scores. The overall average scores went up from about 55% to an incredible 75%. We are so proud of our entrepreneurs!

Participants reported that they were more confident in speaking English after taking the course at TYO. One entrepreneur described that she had always felt that there was a wall between her and the language, which had now started to break down. TYO is so happy to be able to contribute to taking away obstacles to education and help fight unemployment. Knowledge of English can itself break down walls, build bridges, and open doors - to the world and to a bright future.

Full concentration mode while reading an article!
Full concentration mode while reading an article!
Feb 21, 2019

Our Spring 2019 Session is Here- First Day at TYO!

Yazan & Tala are so excited on their first day!
Yazan & Tala are so excited on their first day!

In our spring 2019 session, we are excited to be offering 2 morning programs for children – the Early Childhood Education (ECE) Program for children between the ages of 2-4 and the Core Early Childhood Program for children ages 4-5. Our session kicked off on Monday, February 11th with a great morning here at TYO!

Children participating in our Core Early Childhood Program were the first to arrive. From the moment they set foot in the center, they filled it with laughter, enthusiasm, and lots of hugs! TYO’s staff and volunteers welcomed the children and accompanied them to their classrooms. The classes started with various introduction activities to help the teachers and children get to know one another. During the day, each of the 4 classes rotated between the sports, art, imagination, sensory, and computer rooms. As of week 2 of the program, Core students are getting to know all about friendship and the importance of cooperation. In the upcoming weeks, children in our Core Early Childhood Program will learn all about clothes, careers, seasons, recycling, plants, animals, transportation, colors, and science.

The second group to arrive to the center was children between the ages of 2-4 participating in our ECE Program. They arrived with their mothers, who are enrolled in the Women’s Empowerment and Parenting Program (WEPP). TYO’s ECE teachers and volunteers greeted them as they entered and led each child and mother to their specific classroom. Mothers joined their children in the classrooms on the first day. This made the first day easier for the children because they had a familiar face beside them. They loved spending quality time playing and learning together. Throughout the week, as the children became more comfortable around teachers and volunteers and more acquainted with the center, it was time for mothers to leave their children and attend their own program. This made the separation process healthier as it was done gradually, giving children the time they needed to adjust to their environment. In the upcoming weeks, children in our ECE Program will develop skills in naming, throwing/catching, dressing, identifying objects, drawing/copying playing with others, sorting/building, listening/repeating, jumping/balancing, following instructions, and sharing/taking turns.

We would not be able to offer such enriching programming to our children, youth, and women if it weren't for our donors - we appreciate you all so much. We look forward to witnessing the growth of our children throughout this spring!

Teacher Ahmad is happy to see his students again!
Teacher Ahmad is happy to see his students again!
Mothers and children enjoy playing together!
Mothers and children enjoy playing together!
Kids loved posing behind the frame!
Kids loved posing behind the frame!
Mo
Mo'men & Yara are all giggles showing their signs!
Friends show off their FRIENDSHIP tree!
Friends show off their FRIENDSHIP tree!
Oday and Karm race to win during sports class!
Oday and Karm race to win during sports class!

Links:

Jan 8, 2019

"This is a golden opportunity for real!" - Rawshan's Journey

As a young artist growing up in Nablus, when Rawshan Malhis discovered that local art shops weren’t carrying sketchbooks, she decided to create and start to sell her own sketchbooks with beautiful covers. Though her original business model did not work out and sketchbooks are now available locally, like any resilient and successful entrepreneur, Rawshan was not discouraged. She participated in TYO’s Youth Rehabilitation Entrepreneurship Program (YREP) in the beginning of 2017 to learn how to grow her business. Rawshan now specializes in creating beautiful portraits and providing beginner art courses for anyone from 10 to 35 years old. TYO recently caught up with the 24-year-old artist, entrepreneur, and law student, to see how she has implemented the skills she gained from YREP.

As a part of the interview, Rawshan showed us the room where most of her artwork is created and proudly yet carefully displayed. Her room defies any stereotype of the messy artist. Billie Holiday records and different Van Gogh sketchbooks cover her deskside. As she says: “My life depends on details.”  When looking at her portrait sketches, glass designs, and engraved wood pieces, it’s hard to believe that Rawshan has never taken a formal art class. According to her, “art should aim to capture feelings” – after taking one look at her work, it’s clear that her own artwork is certainly driven by her emotions.  

How long have you been an artist?

“I have been drawing for a long time, since I was a child. When you’re a child, you are passionate about so many things: playing, sports, drawing, singing, all these things. However, the people around you are the reason [why you pursue a certain passion]: my teachers at school would tell me, “you are talented, keep drawing, participate in competitions” – and I would win.

What motivates your creative work?

“I don’t want to be dramatic, but I would say that the pressure around you allows you to be creative. If not for sadness and pain, life would be very dry. As for sadness, I don’t see it as a negative emotion; it’s just an emotion. It plays a big role in all kinds of artistic creativity. If you look at the greatest musical pieces or the greatest portraits, they have a story behind them and these stories are very tragic.”

Why did you decide to participate in TYO’s Youth Rehabilitation Entrepreneurship Program?

“I was encouraged to join TYO’s YREP because my dream is for people to know about my idea and project. My business idea wasn’t just to sell my drawings, I also wanted to teach art since there was a demand for that. I was already providing small art lessons: I would contact an organization and tell them I wanted to conduct a training in their organization. I set the prices for these classes at an affordable low price as a way to make it more accessible for others. But I wanted to develop my work further through the program at TYO.”

What would you tell other entrepreneurs that want to participate in YREP?

  1. “Be punctual. The most important thing is to be committed to the time. Try as much as you can to commit to the dates of the program.
  2. Don’t miss any training! Every word that is said in the training is important.
  3. Implementing is very important; go home from the training you had that day and implement it. The implementation isn’t hard. You will say, “I still don’t have a business,” no – you can implement it in the smallest details, even in your personal life you can implement what you’ve learned. Not only were we given advice on the business level but also on the social level: how to deal with people. Your engagement with your family becomes different, and the way you think also became different.
    So, I advise them to benefit from each word and not waste any minute. Because this is a golden opportunity for real.”

YREP helped Rawshan to better promote her artistic ideas and her personal story. Following trainings on marketing and social media, she created a Facebook page that showcases her artwork and business. Through its program, TYO provides young, passionate, and driven Palestinians like Rawshan with the skills and networks they need to turn their ideas into reality. If you are a Palestine-based entrepreneur, check out TYO's Youth Rehabilitation Entrepreneurship Program to learn more about how you can develop your own business ideas!

 
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