The students have already made significant progress which hopefully will give them a leg-up when they enter the job market. By no means has it been easy. Many of the students are in the class to work on their English skills, which makes hurdling the language barrier to teach the lessons, difficult at times. Also, because this is an elective outside of their regular course load, some have a hard time finding time to complete take home assignments for our class. Every class has its challenges, but based on the skills we’ve seen them develop, we’ve been able to overcome them.
In addition to focusing on the students’ professional development skills, our classes provide an open forum for discussion that promotes cross-cultural exchange. Sometimes we feel like we learned more from a class than the students do! We’ve developed friendships with many of our students, and they have shown us the side of Nablus and of the culture here that builds upon our experiences in the classroom and at Tomorrow’s Youth Organization.
TYO focuses the bulk of it’s work on early childhood and non-formal education, working with kids ages as young as 4 up to 12. But a lot of the real development and training is also happening at the college level with our volunteers and translators, who are taking the opportunity to build leadership and employment skills while giving back to their communities. Our professional development classes at An-Najah University are also part of that empowerment.