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Monthly Archives: April 2014

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Celebrations, Goodbyes and Reflections

Last week was full of celebrations for all my classes for completing a successful nine weeks of lessons together. It was also a time to say goodbye and reflect on what we had learned from each other. I conveniently taught the letter Z on the second to last lesson with my Core ESL classes, this meant that on that final lesson we got to celebrate having learned the entire alphabet together. I prepared brightly coloured certificates with beautiful stickers for the students- every certificate said it was awarded “In honor of learning the English alphabet”. Each student bounded up to Continue reading…

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The resource-choice-benefit cycle: reflections on my TYO experience

As a student of International Development, I was inspired by Nobel Prize-winning economist, Amartya Sen, who regards development as the enlargement of human choices. For him, the exercise of choice allows people to lead lives that are meaningful to them. I came to TYO because I perceived it as a provider of resources that inform and empower, diversifying options within and amongst communities for whom numerous life choices can be comprehensively delimited. I came as a resource, but I leave as a beneficiary. I have both seen and experienced the ways in which TYO’s resources activate a powerful, self-sustaining cycle Continue reading…

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Springing Forward in 2014: Session Recap

About two weeks ago, we had our last seminars in The Women’s Group at TYO for the Spring 2014 session- marking the culmination of an exciting, challenging, and inspiring season of empowerment in Nablus. About twenty years ago, the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) was held in Cairo, Egypt- making large news when a number of women groups were able to successfully convince key governments and policymakers that the solution to the imminent population explosion discussed at the conference was simple- it was women.  NGOs and women’s rights advocates were able to shift the conversation from population control Continue reading…

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Final week of ESL classes with lasting memories

As our classes at TYO draw to an end we’ve begun to reflect on the experience of our classes. The ESL classes have not been a purely academic driven exercise, with an English focus, instead in these classes we have built relationships and have shared a wide cultural exchange. The 4th through 9th grade ESL classes are designed to deceive children and young adults into learning English through fun and challenging activities that incorporate weekly learning objectives. Some of my favorite activities include; scavenger hunts where teams of students have to find and correctly ask, then say new vocabulary words Continue reading…

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TYO Volunteers Reflect on the Spring 2014 Session

Tomorrow’s Youth Organization, with generous support from the Abdel Hameed Shoman Foundation, is preparing the next generation of leaders with vital professional competency support. Read on to see how we are making an impact in our community with our STEP! program. Safa’ Saleh, a volunteer in the Core Child AM program shares her experience in Spring 2014 session. I’m Safa’ Saleh from Nablus, An-Najah university studied Educational Methods of and graduated in 2012. Currently I’m enrolled in the Core Child morning program offered to children from ages 4-5 years old. In the Core Child morning program we introduce children to different outlets in Continue reading…

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Congratulations to Students completing the Professional Competency Spring Session at An Najah University!

It’s daunting thinking about the real world when you are at university.  It is easier to put your head in the sand, enjoy your studies and only worry about work when graduation is complete. However, students in Palestine have it tougher than the average student after graduation, as youth unemployment can be as high as 70%.  In the face of such challenges, actively thinking about work post-university is critical. This week, over 70 proactive An Najah students were awarded a certificate for completing nine weeks of the Professional Competency class. In this session they have been educated on the realities Continue reading…

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Reflecting on Progress

The Spring 2014 Core Child program came to an end last week. We spent the last 12 weeks working with children from some of Nablus’s most disadvantaged areas. The activities we implemented in our classes were designed to help children develop socially, with the goal of having them learn to appreciate their role and value within their communities. We’ve addressed two main themes in our holistic early education classes: Me & My Community, and Communication and Collaboration. As Core teachers we work as a team to root values in children such as respect and collaboration, and design lesson plans aimed Continue reading…

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FWEME Celebrates the Top 5 finalists and the start of Phase 3!

Tomorrow’s Youth Organization-Lebanon is so pleased to announce the top 5 women selected to move into the final phase of the FWEME project! Phase 1 started us off with 47 women who participated in an intensive 4-day Business Training and based on that, we selected 10 women to move into Phase 2, which involved one-on-one coaching/training with our Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture; Zahle (CCIAZ) team and the production of SMART Business Plans for each of the women. Now we are so pleased to announce the 5 women who will move into Phase 3 of the project which will Continue reading…

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Teamwork in the Classroom: Greater than the Sum of its Parts

The dynamics between international interns and local volunteers are crucial to the success of TYO’s English language classes.  The team’s performance not only influences the classroom atmosphere and students’ engagement, but it sets a powerful example.  Through these classes, children regularly experience an environment driven by positive relationships – relationships that transcend gender, language, nationality and culture.  All of these factors could be perceived as potential barriers to harmonious interaction, and indeed, the children may not have encountered this type of situation before.  However, TYO’s non-formal educational techniques help children to develop valuable life skills.  Self-confidence, respect, communication and teamwork Continue reading…

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Progress in Core AM: Participation, Perseverance, Practice, Play and Personal Development

It was 8 weeks ago that 27 four and five year-olds walked into the classroom and  nervously eyeballed me, the foreigner, in their classroom. Our first learning intention was simple, they needed to learn how to correctly say ‘Hello’ and ‘Goodbye’, it seemed like an easy task, but I was no kindergarten teacher, I was used to teaching teenagers literature and history.  But through some miracle, and the use of excessive amounts of my energy running in and out of a door saying hello and goodbye, I had most of them laughing and learning. Thankfully, most students waved, and warmly said Continue reading…