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The Women’s Group

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Cake Can Be Healthy, Too

It is hard to live a healthy lifestyle 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is especially difficult to be healthy when living in Palestine due to the limited resources and health education. However, it is important to have a clear understanding of how to stop health problems before they start. For the past 6 weeks, as a part of the Women’s Empowerment Programs at TYO, the women of Nablus have been learning about fitness and nutrition. One major preventable health risk is Type 2 diabetes.  Prevalence of Type 2 diabetes in Palestinian in 2000 was estimated at Continue reading…

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The Road to Tulkarem is Paved in Gold

Last Saturday I had the pleasure of taking a weekend trip to visit four entrepreneurs from the Women’s Incubation Services for Entrepreneurs II (WISE II) program. In August 2014, Tomorrow’s Youth Organization and PalTel Group Foundation (PGF) launched WISE II, a program that enhances women-led micro and small enterprises in marginalized areas in northern Palestine. WISE II empowered high-potential Palestinian women through an innovative, holistic, and intensive business incubation. Through skills based training, coaching, and incubation, WISE II was a strategic multi-phase program to build the capabilities, confidence and access to capital for women entrepreneurs in Palestine. As a Zahi Khouri Fellow Continue reading…

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Palestinian Women Break Through the Glass Ceiling of Lending Practices

Advancing Palestinian Women Entrepreneurs (APWE) is TYO’s fifth entrepreneurship program that seeks to help women in Northern Palestine establish or expand their micro-businesses. TYO provides women with the opportunity to attend psychological and social trainings with TYO’s in-house psychologist; develop or refine their business plans with Ramallah-based Small Enterprise Center (SEC); participate in a three-week business English and IT intensive; and create their marketing materials after working with a branding and marketing expert. While APWE will provide a plethora of trainings for their existing and budding entrepreneurs, there is a larger societal issue TYO seeks to address and help solve in order for all female entrepreneurship Continue reading…

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WISE II Entrepreneur Profile: Jinan

Jinan’s Business: Needle and Thread Originally from Nablus, Palestine, Jinan learned the tradition of embroidery as a hobby when she was a child. After getting married, she started to make embroidered household items such as pillows and lampshades to decorate her new home. When Jinan hosted guests, they would admire her work and began requesting her to produce similar items for their home. It was then that she realized that she could turn her hobby into a business. In 2000, Jinan created her informal business with the savings she accumulated from working at a sewing factory in high school and Continue reading…

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Soap, Not Soup!

I had just landed in Palestine and was to begin working at Tomorrow’s Youth Organization (TYO) as a Zahi Khouri Fellow. I was overwhelmingly grateful for the opportunity, but was nervous and unsure of what to expect during my tenure at the organization. Before I began teaching TYO’s entrepreneurs I was filled with first-day jitters and self-doubt. My fear and hesitation quickly blossomed into one of the most positive and enriching experiences I have ever had while traveling abroad. As a Zahi Khouri Fellow, I was tasked with the responsibility of teaching The Women’s Group (TWG) fitness and nutrition courses. Continue reading…

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Mind the (Gender) Gap

  Today we wrap up week four of The Women’s Group (TWG) program at TYO. TWG focuses on supporting women residing in refugee camps and disadvantaged neighborhoods in Nablus, with a focus on mothers of children in TYO’s Core Child Program. The classes focus on health, nutrition, and exercise seminars as well as IT classes. The IT classes are a critical component of TWG curriculum. Led by a TYO entrepreneur, Sahar, the class offers soft and hard IT skills, but also demonstrates the power of mentorship as women see first-hand that the program is offered by another woman on a Continue reading…

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Child’s Play You Say?

Last week, Tomorrow’s Youth Organization (TYO) launched The Women’s Group Summer 2015 program for women residing in refugee camps and disadvantaged neighborhoods in Nablus, with a focus on mothers of children in TYO’s Core Child Program. This week concludes our second week of health, nutrition, and exercise seminars alongside IT classes. These seminars have made it overwhelmingly evident that the power and importance of play does not stop in childhood, but continues well into adulthood. The importance of creative play for children is well-known. Imaginative games help young kids express themselves in a positive way, as well as learn empathy through the experience of Continue reading…

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Time to Break a Sweat and Bust a Move

You know that feeling too well, when you step off the treadmill, wipe the last bead of sweat off your brow after a hot yoga class, or finish a long hike. You get that rush of energy, your mood is uplifted  and you feel confident to take on whatever the day may bring your way. The physical and mental benefits of regular physical activity are hard to ignore and are yours for the taking – regardless of your age, sex, or socioeconomic status. While your goal may be just to shake off a case of the Mondays, exercise offers countless Continue reading…

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Facebook to Formal English: FWEME Incubation

Can you describe yourself in 2 minutes, or catch a potential customer’s eye through a Facebook post? For many burgeoning business people, explaining their startup idea in a quick, catchy way- especially when English is their second language- might be a lengthy process with many pauses or problematic sentence structure. But for entrepreneurs participating in TYO’s FWEME Initiative, the past two weeks have sought to change that through intensive Business English and Business IT classes, where women have been practicing and perfecting their pitches- and prepping to best present themselves and their enterprises to potential investors and partners. Led by Continue reading…

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Because of Them, We Will

Have you seen those photos circulating on Buzzfeed that show young girls dressed as the bold feminists that came before them- part of the international photography project, Because of Them, We Can? If you haven’t, they’re worth a look- young children dress to resemble the gender equality revolutionaries from both the past and present that are blazing the trail for a brighter, more equitable future- from Susan B. Anthony to Sacajawea, Frida Kahlo to Malala Yousafiszi. It’s homage to those that came before us, and a way to teach children about the strong activists and leaders that paved a way Continue reading…