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Jul 17, 2014

Sunshine and Smiles!

Intern Darializa hugs one of her students goodbye
Intern Darializa hugs one of her students goodbye

Tomorrow's Youth Organization wrapped up its summer programming with a splash as children in TYO's Core Child Program enjoyed an end-of-session outing at the pool. The pool provided welcome relief from the heat and was an excellent way for children to celebrate seven weeks of hard work! This session, alongside TYO's holistic psychosocial curriculum taught by TYO's highly qualified team of Core teachers, children were learning English through fun art and wellness activities facilitated by an energetic group of international interns and fellows from across the United States and England.

Darializa, one of TYO's all-star interns shared some thoughts from her expereince saying, 'On our last day of session at TYO, we took the children to the pool. Most of the kids could not contain their excitement and began splashing at the earliest possible moment. Ghazal didn’t follow suit. In the five weeks that I taught her English, she did not once smile. This was despite many efforts through group play and crafts that were meant to advance the kids’ English ability. But somehow, with the help of one of the Core AM teachers, we were able to get Ghazal to join the others in the pool. She only stuck her feet in at the edge but when she realized the fun that can be had there, there was no stopping her. She kicked and splashed to her little heart’s content and for the first time, I saw her laugh.

That is what childhood is about: learning and laughing. I am so grateful to have been able to work with TYO to give children the opportunity to learn and laugh in a safe and loving environment. Seeing the confidence with which they shout answers to questions asked and the excitement they brought to every English class made every minute of data collection and report writing worth it. Countless times over. It was also amazing to see the initiative each child took to make class their own safe space. Some asked to sing in front of the class and others asked for extra alphabet worksheets. It was inspiring to see the thrill with which my students devoured the opportunity to learn through shouting and playing and making a mess with glitter. This showed me how TYO succeeds in providing the opportunity for better childhoods.

I’m incredibly sad to be leaving because of the many beautiful moments I’ve had here. Seeing Ghazal so happy to be splashing in the pool reaffirmed the hope I have for Palestine. Yes, there is a mountain range that needs to be climbed in order for peace and equality to come. But I think that for every Palestinian child that is empowered through learning and a positive childhood, another mountain is claimed.'

Jun 2, 2014

Meet the Entrepreneurs You've Impacted!

Entrepreneur Helene with TYO's Nadine
Entrepreneur Helene with TYO's Nadine

Thanks to your contribution, TYO-Lebanon (TYO-L) has spent the last few months hard at work helping entrepreneurs in the Bekaa take their businesses to the next level! TYO-L is now working with 5 selected entrepreneurs on expanding their business networks, accessing finance to scale up their businesses and fine tuning their branding and corporate identities. We are happy to share brief profiles on these five women and their businesses:

  • Roula:Atmosphere.... Art & Design School & Gallery… Put Art in your Sphere!”

Roula is a practiced artist and currently has a small studio space and gallery that she would like to expand into an Art and Design School to service artists locally in the Bekaa. Through Atmosphere, Roula wants also to create a space for talented people to connect with potential art lovers companies and individuals, affording young artists a chance to display and sell their work!

  • Rola:Go Green Go – Live the ultimate warm eco experience!”

Rola will expand her businessby launching an environmentally friendly log, which will replace the traditional wood log by transforming houses into warm and happy homes using practical, effective eco friendly heating.

  • Helene: Helene d’Av.... l’espace beaute complet! Beauty... from the inside out!”

Helene is a charming, fresh, classy committed lady with positive energy shining from the inside out. Helene is a beauty specialist well known in the region for her quality work, her honesty and her distinguished simple personal approach to beauty. Helene is ready now to expand her existing beauty center into a more holistic women’s wellness center: the only one of it’s kind in the Bekaa!

  • Tilda:TILES & CO.... when a tile says it all!”

Tildais a serious, passionate, talented, dedicated & committed entrepreneur. Despite somewhat difficult family circumstances, she created a very small cement tile fabric and that she could manage and make profitable for herself     and her two children. She is now ready to take her business to the next level!

  • Rima: “RIYA ... Rima Sawaya’s spirit in landscaping & interior!”

Rimais a skilled and talented young lady, passionate about embellishing all living areas –starting by the public spaces in Zahle. She is specializing in interior design and landscaping and her projects address all the same issue: embellishing ecologically starting from the concept up! 

Again, we thank you on behalf of the hardworking Lebanese women entrepreneurs in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon!

Entrepreneur Rima with TYO's Nadine
Entrepreneur Rima with TYO's Nadine
Entrepreneur Roula with TYO's Nadine.
Entrepreneur Roula with TYO's Nadine.
Entrepreneurs Roula with TYO's Nadine.
Entrepreneurs Roula with TYO's Nadine.
Entrepreneur Tilda and TYO's Nadine
Entrepreneur Tilda and TYO's Nadine
Apr 29, 2014

Reflecting on Success

Busy at work in the computer lab!
Busy at work in the computer lab!

At TYO we're celebrating the end of another successful session of programming. Children enrolled in the Core Child Program completed 12 weeks of classes that were devoted to addressing the themes of  Me & My Community, Communication, and Collaboration.

When asked to reflect on the session, TYO Core Teacher, Mufeeda explained that she is reminded of the challenges faced in the first weeks and the resulting sense of accomplishment she now feels for having helped her kids through those first few weeks. Initially children some were hard to engage, refusing to speak in class. For some of these children it was the first time in their lives that they left their refugee camps or neighborhoods. It took a while to build their trust with these children and show them through positive modeling that someone outside their homes can be a role model and care for them.

She went on to explain that nothing makes her more proud and excited than watching those silent children open up over the duration of the session. She reports having three particularly unengaged students but when they at last they smiled, and by week seven even asked to hold hands, she felt immense satisfaction. Teachers at TYO work hard to ensure children aren't only supported in the classroom, but also in the home. As such, teachers make frequent calls to follow-up with parents and relay the progress of their children, notifying parents of any potential issues flagged during class. Mufeeda attributes much of the success she was able to achieve with her children this session to the inclusive approach TYO takes to addressing the needs of children enrolled in the programming as well as the integration of new learning tools.

Of great help this session in engaging students was the inclusion of IT classes in the Core Child Program. Each day children were exposed to age appropriate educational content and games in the computer lab. According to a study by the Alliance for Childhood, for children over 3, ‘some exposure to thoughtfully constructed media content can promote pro-social behaviors and contribute to learning, especially when a caring adult is actively involved.’ IT activities were carefully selected to hone their small motor skills, logic and reasoning skills, and spatial awareness skills. Learning games from sources such as PBS Kids, National Geographic, and Sesame Street provide children with colorful and engaging games from trusted content providers.

We've been so happy to watch children at TYO develop their skills over the last session and with your generous support we can ensure that we have the  necessary resources to provide children in the Nablus community with the robust learning environment they deserve. 

Teachers work  to provide individualized support
Teachers work to provide individualized support

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