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

Mr. Zahi Khoury Tours TYO Center

On Thursday, June 23, 2011, Zahi Khoury and his wife, Amal visited the TYO Center. Mr. Khoury, Founder and CEO of the National Beverage Company and Chairman of Partners for a New Beginning Palestine, toured the Center and visited our weekly Thursday Sports Day.

Over a working lunch catered by Nehaya, a Fostering Women’s Entrepreneurs (FWEN) participant, Mr. Khoury discussed TYO’s programming and activities with several program managers. Several FWEN program participants presented their business plans and first steps to Mr. Khoury and received personalized feedback.

TYO is a proud member of Partners for a New Beginning. We were ecstatic to host Mr. Khoury and his wife and look forward to future shared efforts in Palestine.

Photo of the Day: Parent-Teacher Conferences

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Photo of the Day: Palestinian Mother’s Day!

On Monday, March 21, 2011 Tomorrow’s Youth Organization honored Palestinian Mother’s Day in our Core Program. Our participants mothers join their children at the TYO Center for a celebratory morning filled with lively music, fun activities and nutritious snacks.

Consul General Daniel Rubinstein Visits TYO Nablus

Consul General Daniel Rubinstein speaks at TYO

Consul General Daniel Rubinstein and a delegation from the Consulate General of the United States in Jerusalem visited the TYO Center in Nablus on Thursday, December 2, 2010. His visit came at the peak of TYO’s fall programs as TYO staff, volunteers and interns are working hard to pack in as much transformative play as possible before fall programs come to an end on December 16th.

Consul General Rubinstein gave remarks to a small group of 20 staff members and volunteers before touring the Center to learn more about TYO’s unique educational programs and volunteer opportunities. During his tour, he met with TYO interns from the United States, observed an English class for women and sat for business presentations from four FWEN participants.

TYO would like to thank Consul General Rubinstein and the Consulate staff for a productive and stimulating visit.

Support TYO in GlobalGiving’s Open Challenge

This holiday season, TYO is participating in GlobalGiving’s Open Challenge, a fundraising challenge for non-profits who are doing impactful work around the world. Continue reading

TYO Gala: President Clinton praises TYO as a promising solution

Last week, Tomorrow’s Youth Organization came out in Washington, DC with a series of events including our first ever Gala on October 21, 2010. We celebrated our successes from the last three years in Nablus and announced exciting expansion plans as we honored our valued supporters including President Bill Clinton, former UK First Lady Cherie Blair and music legend Quincy Jones. We are grateful that event co-chairs, Ambassador Yousef al Otaiba, Samia Farouki and Terry McAuliffe also played a huge role in the week’s proceedings.

The TYO Gala reflected our distinctive mix of engagement, passion, innovation and high-quality including a performance by the Dupont Park Children’s Choir of Washington, DC who sang the song that Quincy Jones has donated to TYO, Tomorrow, after a moving introduction from Mr. Jones himself. The event highlighted the urgent need for innovative programming for children and women in the West Bank and the broader Middle East. Another inspiring theme of the week and the Gala presentation was the extraordinary potential of Middle Eastern women as a lever for social change.

The success of our Gala was due in part to the presence of our distinguished honorees: President Bill Clinton, Cherie Blair and Quincy Jones. Their remarks stirred the 400+ guests, who were also inspired by the promise they saw in our participants through stunning large-scale audiovisual presentations throughout the evening (like this short video), as well as past and present TYO team members in attendance at the Gala.

Former President Clinton praised TYO’s work as a promising solution for the formidable challenges we face in the Middle East. He said that TYO “empower[s] women… increases[s] educational opportunities and frankly involve[s] more social empowerment without which you can’t have a balanced society.”

TYO was also thrilled to honor Cherie Blair, founder of TYO ally Cherie Blair Foundation for Women (CBFW) with whom we have enjoyed enormous success through our collaboration Fostering Women Entrepreneurs in Nablus. Mrs. Blair acknowledged the power of our cooperation: “Together we’re enabling women to develop and build on their business talents, and thus, to help themselves, their families, and wider society…” And, she urged the audience to support our efforts, “every dollar you spend on [our work] is returned a thousand fold…Come to the Middle East and see the potential is there.”

Gala emcee and co-chair, Terry McAuliffe, echoed President Clinton and Mrs. Blair’s remarks: “If we truly want peace in the Middle East, it is about helping people have a better future. We have got to give these children an education. We have got to help women better themselves.”

We shared, we listened, we celebrated; but most of all, we raised awareness about the open hearts and tremendous possibility of children and women in the Middle East. It was incredible! A huge thanks to those of you who attended, had some role in the Gala, or are part of the TYO community in another way. And ahlan wa sahlan – come get involved – to those of you who aren’t yet.

TYO humbly thanks its generous sponsors that supported this event, including the PalTel Group Foundation, Mohamed S. Farsi Foundation, Abercrombie & Kent, FedEx, Dewey and LeBoeuf, William Haughey, Raj Fernando, Christophe Jungels-Winkler, A. Huda and Samia Farouki, Terry and Dorothy McAuliffe and Capital Corporation.

Summertime for Triple Exposure!

Check out the new post by Project Coordinator Doris on the Triple Exposure website:

As the summer winds down, we are taking a break from class to observe Ramadan (and to set everything in motion for the fall!). June and July were busy months — whether hiding from the heat by making a trip to the local mall to take photos, staying in the shade while making a mosaic, or using their cameras to show me their homes and families, the kids of Triple Exposure spent their summer holidays producing beautiful work, which I am now proud to show you.

Take a few minutes, sip a cool drink, and enjoy photos of Triple Exposure students putting their designs on city walls, capturing their lives and their city with their cameras, and generally having a rocking good time.

“Triple Exposure” is a TYO initiative that aims to develop identity, awareness, and vocational skills among children and adolescents through teaching photographic expression and the production of public art.

Just Thirty Minutes Left–Today!

With just 30 minutes left until the end of today’s daily competition TYO is holding at the No. 11 spot! Thank you so much!

As those in the top ten spots continue to fight for the top spot, we must work even harder to get No. 10! Please help us fight for our spot on the leaderboard!

We are extremely close! Now, let us come together and show the brilliant power of real people making real moves toward REAL CHANGE! Continue reading

Midterm Impact Report, Summer 2009

Midterm Impact Report, Summer 2009 Session

During the fifth week of our summer programs, a letter was sent home with a random sample of 20 Morning Core Program participants inviting their parents to attend a discussion. TYO Psychosocial Specialist Suhad Jabi facilitated a focus group later that week with five mothers and one father of ten TYO participants.  The focus group was an open discussion in which the parents introduced themselves and discussed their level of satisfaction with the program, changes in their children’s behavior and suggestions for future program development.  Suhad described the conversation as enthusiastic, lively and organic.  The following Midterm Impact Report was compiled from testimonies given by those parents.

TYO compares initial, midterm and final parent surveys and focus groups to determine the impact of its program on each child and identify which children could benefit from further services either from TYO or by referral.  Please check back later this week for our Final Impact Report for the summer session.  The full text of the midterm report and past reports can be found in the Results section of our homepage.

After four weeks of the program, we see concrete and significant change in many of our children, especially in the following areas:

–    Age-appropriate sociability with peers and adults,
–    Appropriate behavior (including the disappearance of bed wetting problems),
–    Improved vocabulary and increased vocalization and self-esteem

Abu Sami, father of Gofran, age 4, Balata refugee camp
My daughter, Gofran, used to be selfish—wanting everything in her hands. She never shared and was aggressive with her siblings. My children would always fight and there was never any peace in our home.  Despite my encouragement, they never managed their studies well. Now, Gofran is more cooperative and less aggressive.  I see her respecting other children and finishing her tasks with more care. She is outspoken and shares stories with me about her classroom and her teacher Rana [TYO’s art teacher.]  She told me that when she is upset she wants to talk to Rana about her anger. She no longer has nightmares.

Om Ehab, mother of twins Sadeel and Sandee, age 5, Askar refugee camp
Both Sandeel and Sandee have bed-wetting problems.  During their first session [at TYO], the problem decreased to around three times a week.  After the first week of this session, they both stopped completely. My daughters are happier and cooperate with each other much better. They are always talking about their teacher Rana [TYO’s art teacher.]

Om Mohammad, mother of Mohammad, age 5, Khallet al-Amood
My son used to be a rude child.  He created many problems in the neighborhood.  He was difficult to talk with and aggressive.  He is a tough kid. I have always been a bit surprised that TYO doesn’t send him home.  Many times I have wanted to visit the TYO Center, but I do not come because I am afraid that I will hear the staff complaining about my son. I am very satisfied with the program.  Now, Mohammed is better in every category.  He has become polite, much calmer and sweet.  He is more expressive and articulate about his ideas. Sometimes I cannot believe I am talking with a five-year-old kid.