New Triple Exposure galleries online!

New galleries of some of the top shots taken by the Triple Exposure young photographers are now available online.

Check out two new Triple Exposure albums on the TYO Facebook page -

The City of Nablus
and
The Children of Nablus

‘Ana beheb Nablus’ (I love Nablus). By Shahd, age 15, from El Ein refugee camp, Nablus.

A sample from these collections is also viewable on the news site Palestine Monitor.

 

 

TYO’s Community Impact

Why is Usama Malik running 250 km/156 miles through the Sahara Desert?  To ensure the continued profound and positive impact of TYO on the communities it serves.  The stories of just one entrepreneur and one volunteer reveal the broad ripple effect of TYO’s programs on individuals, their families, and the community at large.

Nehaya, Restaurant Owner

Nehaya explains her restaurant to Ambassador Verveer and TYO Nablus Center Director Humaira Wakili

Take one of our FWEN program participants, Nehaya, as an example.  As a student at An-Najah University, she noticed that the students living far from their families craved home-cooked meals.  She came up with a solution–establish a restaurant to offer traditional Palestinian “comfort food,” rather than unhealthy  fast food.  The restaurant could offer take-out for students and catering for large parties and events.

Nehaya enrolled in the FWEN program, where she developed the business and leadership skills necessary to start her restaurant.  Her work with FWEN prepared her for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women project, a five-week Women’s Entrepreneurship Leadership certificate program at the American University in Cairo.

On March 26, 2011, Nehaya opened her restaurant and hired her mother and aunt as cooks.  With her restaurant, Nehaya is bringing home-cooked meals to the students of An-Najah, business opportunities to the women in her family, and inspiration to women entrepreneurs throughout Nablus.

Nehad, Volunteer and Fall Core Child Program Teacher

Nehad with a Core Child Program student

Nehad’s story provides another great example of TYO’s impact on the lives of our program participants.  She has been a volunteer with the Core Child Program for a year.  Every day that TYO is in session, Nehad leaves her village, Koforqadon, at 7 am to make the hour-long commute to our Nablus center.

Her work with the students in the Core Child Program has brought children like Ghizal out of their shells.  Moreover, Nehad reports that she herself has grown in confidence as a teacher and as an individual throughout her year with TYO.  Because of her dedication to her students and eagerness to learn, Nehad has grown into a talented early childhood teacher while volunteering at TYO.  TYO is excited to be bringing Nehad back to the Core Child Program as a teacher for the fall session.

All of TYO’s Core Child Program teachers, like Nehad, started working with TYO as volunteers.  The Youth Service Learning program includes both trainings and opportunities to cultivate hands-on teaching and mentoring experience.  As volunteers, TYO’s current core teachers cultivated a valuable set of teaching skills.  Now, TYO’s students reap the benefits of having strong, confident, talented teachers.

Help sustain and expand TYO’s community impact by getting involved in the Racing the Planet for TYO campaign!  From September 1-25, people across the globe will ADOPT, JOIN, and MOBILIZE the miles of Usama’s race.  Right now, start planning how you’ll help us raise $25k in 25 days!

Flower Habibis

colorful sea scenes

The second week of our Ramadan arts course revolved around the theme of nature – from the sea, to the land, to the sky. We asked the kids, ages 4 and 5, to demonstrate how plants grow. And they showed us step by step – digging the hole, planting the seed, adding water and the rays of the sun, sprouting and slowly growing till we all were trees swaying in the breeze, arms aloft.

planting flowers

We then put these ideas into action, planting flowers along the entrance of the TYO center. The children loved digging about and watering the plants, seeing their efforts leave something beautiful to brighten up the way into TYO for everyone that comes here.

The houses and multi-story apartments in this neighbourhood (Khallet al-Amood) are built close together, rising vertically up the hillside, with unforgiving steps replacing streets between the densely populated homes. Thanks both to the geography and to urban planning, they rarely have gardens, so a flower-planting activity is a great opportunity for the kids to get their hands dirty, learn a little more about nature and see how we can brighten up even inner city environments.

The next day we moved onto painting. After some butterfly themed stories and games with core teachers Jawad and Haitham, the children painted half a butterfly, folding it in half to print the same colourful pattern on the opposite wing. Each symmetrical creation was unique, bringing joy to the kids as they saw through each step to make their own butterflies and take them home to show all the family.

butterflies / flutter byes

Racing the Planet for TYO – $25k in 25 days

In just over a month, TYO friend Usama Malik will race through the Sahara Desert for seven days to raise funds for TYO!  During the race, he will cover an amazing 250 km/156 miles of desert sand while facing temperatures up to 122°F.  The Sahara Race is part of the 4Deserts series, which TIME magazine has named one of the Top 10 Endurance Competitions in the world.

Want to ensure that Usama’s incredible feat translates into meaningful programs for some of the Middle East’s most marginalized populations? Join the Racing the Planet for TYO campaign.

The Start of the Sahara Race

From September 1st to September 25th, people across the globe will Adopt, Join, and Mobilize the miles of Usama’s race to raise $25k in 25 days.  By participating in the campaign, you can help make sure that the race has the biggest possible impact on the children, youth, women, and parents that TYO serves.

Choose a race track:

  • ADOPT A MILE.  Adopt one of Usama’s 250 km /156 miles by donating at least $100.  For more information, read How to: Adopt a Mile.
  • JOIN A MILE.  Join one of Usama’s miles by raising at least $100 and moving a mile with him.  You choose how you move (run, hopscotch, skip, or jumprope, to name a few) and who you ask to sponsor you.  You’ll get a personal project page on Crowdrise to spread the word about your mile among your friends and family.  For instructions on joining a mile and resources for sponsors, read How to: Join a Mile.
  • MOBILIZE A MILE.  Mobilize one of Usama’s miles by moving a mile with at least 5 people to raise at least $500.  This is a great option for student groups, community organizations, or individuals who want to get really involved.  You can choose to keep your event low-key or make it big and public.  Your team will get a personal project page on Crowdrise to spread the word about your event.  For instructions on mobilizing a mile and resources to help you organize larger events, read How to: Mobilize a Mile.

Want to make an off-track donation?  We welcome them too! Just check out How to: Adopt a Mile for detailed donation instructions.  Gifts of every shape and size will help us raise $25k in 25 days.

To learn more about the Racing the Planet for TYO campaign, check out our Crowdrise Project Page.

The Sahara Race

TYO Intern Alumni: Where are They Now?

“Professionally, my time at TYO was invaluable because it enabled to get my next job. Having on-the-ground experience in Palestine set my resume apart from the others and was one of the determining factors in allowing me to find a job immediately after returning to the US.”

Adrienne Clermont

An Ithica, NY native, Adrienne taught beginning photography and women’s English during her TYO internship in the fall of 2010.

What was your favorite moment/story from your time with TYO?

My favorite moments at TYO were while I was working with the kids in my Beginning Photography class. These were also moments when I wanted to tear my hair out, because there were 20 screaming kids running around me, carrying very expensive cameras! But to see the looks on those kids’ faces when they realized they could capture their own images was really priceless. I especially appreciated the fact that some of the most hyperactive, disruptive boys in the class became incredibly calm when holding one of the big DSLR cameras in their hands — they could really focus their attention and get engrossed in the process of finding the perfect shot. It made me realize that each of these kids had something special to offer, if someone was just willing to give them the chance to show it.

What do you miss most about TYO or Nablus?

By far what I miss most about TYO and living in Nablus is the hospitality of the Palestinian friends that I made there. Every single Palestinian that I met at TYO was instantaneously friendly and welcoming, and many of the women that I worked with (through my English class and the Women’s Entrepreneurship program) invited me over to their homes to meet their families and share a meal with them. By my final weeks in Nablus, I was feeling guilty at the number of invitations I had to turn down because I simply didn’t have time! This hospitality is one of the most wonderful things about Palestinian culture and I am so grateful to have experienced it first-hand — and to have gotten the chance to sample homemade maqlooba, kunafeh, and other delicacies!

What have you been up to after leaving Nablus and what are your plans for the future?

I am now a Program Coordinator for the Middle East region at the International Youth Foundation, an NGO based in Baltimore (www.iyfnet.org). Thanks to my experience at TYO and my knowledge of Palestinian culture, I was brought on board to help manage projects in Palestine and Egypt. These two projects focus on youth employment, job skills, and life skills training — key issues for young people facing high levels of unemployment in the Middle East today. My plans for the future are to continue working in the field of international development and to pursue a graduate degree in this field in the next 2-3 years. I hope to work abroad in the Middle East again soon!

Do you have any advice for anyone considering applying for a TYO internship?

Absolutely apply for this internship! Nothing compares to on-the-ground experience in a country that interests you — both from a personal growth perspective and from a professional perspective. Having that experience and demonstrating that you are capable and knowledgeable enough to live in another culture will set you apart from other candidates at every job you apply to in the future. Plus, TYO is a great place full of great people, and you will have a lot of fun!

TYO Intern Alumni: Where are They Now?

“The TYO internship program is about so much more than day-to-day classroom instruction at the center; it is also about meaningful engagement with the Nabulsi community.”

Leila Del Santo

Originally from Durham, North Carolina, Leila taught music, fitness, and computer classes at TYO during the spring 2011 semester.

What was your favorite moment/story from your time with TYO?

During the last week of music classes, my students and I took a field trip to the Edward Said Music Conservatory in Nablus. Although initially displeased that the much-anticipated field trip was not to one of the local amusement parks, the students’ disappointment soon ebbed as they eagerly watched the conservatory instructors perform and provide instruction on instruments ranging from the bass to the saxophone.  For many of my students the trip illustrated the beauty of what could be accomplished with hard work and dedication to the study of an instrument.

What have you been up to after leaving Nablus?

I am a Hart Fellow with the Duke Sanford School of Public Policy in Battambang, Cambodia (July 2011-May 2012).

Do you have any advice for anyone considering applying for a TYO internship?

The TYO internship program is about so much more than day-to-day classroom instruction at the center; it is also about meaningful engagement with the Nabulsi community.  Never let language barriers or unfamiliarity with your surroundings prevent you from building those relationships–for me personally, they were what made the internship experience so positive.

How do you think TYO affected you personally and professionally?

I’ve always loved working with kids, and the TYO internship only intensified that commitment to child and youth-related work.  My current work in Battambang Province, Cambodia is likewise centered around vulnerable youth, and it is an area of interest that will most likely extend into future professional work. On a more personal note, as an American with Palestinian roots, the TYO internship was an opportunity to learn about, and to experience and celebrate my mother’s heritage.  The graciousness and resiliency of the Palestinian people is inspiring, and I hope to return to work in Palestine in the near future.

Rambunctious Ramadan Mornings

Happy beads

Throughout the month of Ramadan, daytime fasting and nighttime feasting push business hours and bedtimes later here in Nablus.  Mornings are particularly quiet, as children and adults alike sleep in after staying up late to work off the post-Iftar sugar high. But on Monday, at 10 am sharp, TYO was once again ringing with the sound of kids’ laughter and running feet as the Core Child Program teachers and the Triple Exposure team began the Ramadan session for 22 kids from Khellet Al-Amood.

TYO Friends

This three week class is different from TYO’s normal 12-week interventions.  In large part, it is designed to keep the children active and growing during this quiet month.  Studies show that children without access to diverse enriching experiences during extended school vacations suffer significant losses in academic skills (National Summer Learning Association).  In order to preserve and deepen the growth that our youngest Core Child Program students have been engaged in at TYO, we’re bringing them back for an hour and a half, three days a week, for the next three weeks.

Coloring the sea

The first week of the session has focused on instilling a sense of self and other in the children.  On Monday, they drew pictures of themselves engaged in their favorite activities.  On Tuesday, after listening to Jawwad’s spirited rendition of a story about an old lady, her cat, and some contentious milk, the children drew pictures of the characters in the story.  On Wednesday, they discussed the many colors, animals, and plants that can be found in the sea.  Each child then designed his own oceanic backdrop for the tissue paper and googley-eyed fish that they will make next week.

The next two weeks of the class will be structured more generally around the concept of creative play.  Warm-up activities like “Simon Says” and games where they simulate the life cycle of a plant allow for simultaneous physical and cognitive learning.  Threading beads onto strings  helped develop the motor skills that the children will need when they will string all of their painted cardstock butterflies together to make a huge butterfly chain.  Thus, through stories, art projects, and athletic games, these kids from Khella will spend their Ramadan mornings flexing their creative muscles, and in doing so, learn volumes about themselves, each other, and the world around them.

Stringing beads

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