Intercultural Training in Strasbourg, France

In December, I traveled to Strasbourg, France to take part in a training course titled “Global and Effective Youth Projects for Intercultural Dialogue.” The United Nation’s Alliance of Civilizations (UNAoC) and the Council of Europe sponsored the course. The twelve participants, including myself, represented the international dialogue projects chosen by this year’s grant committee. You can read about TYO’s project here.

The training was an amazing opportunity to learn about intercultural dialogue while also taking part in it. The participants at the training came from all over the world. Through learning from my peers at this conference, I came to understand the exact meaning of ‘alliance of civilizations.’  Everyone was so passionate about their project and eager to effect positive change in their community and share it with others.

We also had plenty of fun. One night we decided to go to Kehl, across the border in Germany. We went to a coffee shop to have some tea and coffee. As we sat down, we were all speaking in English, our shared language, and some of us were engaged in side conversation in our native tongues. When the waiter came to collect our order, we realized that he only spoke German and none of us did! We started to talk with him in our mother tongues attempting to gauge whether he also understood Arabic or Croatian—he did not. Finally, through pantomime and pointing, we received our orders. It was a crazy night.

On a professional level, this conference strengthened my skills in human rights education, intercultural dialogue, monitoring and evaluation, and project management. I left the conference feeling very confident in my ability to express myself to people from other cultures and in turn to better understand them.


Imad is TYO’s Volunteer Coordinator and a UNAoC Project Coordinator.


Photo of the Day: Teachers Continue Training


This week the Core Program Teachers created orginial art pieces for their classrooms out of the recycled materials they collected during the previous week. Above is the stadium TYO Sports Teacher Haitham created this week.

Photo of the Day: Teacher Training!


On Tuesday, 5 May and Wednesday, 6 May TYO teachers and staff participated in their second week of an intensive four-month training program.  The TYO staff is participating in an important training on the Holistic Integrated Approach to early childhood education. The training is led by MaDad, founded by Jacqueline Sfeir, former Dean of the Faculty of Education at Bethlehem University and 2007 Ashoka Fellow. Jacqueline and her team will work alongside the TYO team before and during TYO’s summer session to provide a theoretical insight into the value of a child-centered, reflective approach to teaching, as well as extensive practical examples of ways to apply this approach in the classroom.

Another important outcome of the MaDad training will be renovation of TYO’s classrooms and shared spaces as enriching, safe and familiar spaces. This renovation will use recycled and other found materials to the greatest extent possible—turning other peoples trash into childhood treasures.



Thank You Right to Play!


On Monday, 27 April 2009 Right to Play led TYO staff and volunteers in a training on the incredible art of parachute play! It was an exhilarating day for all involved making the training a huge success!  While working on team building and communication skills, laughter and applause could be heard throughout the TYO Center.  A special thanks to Randa El Shila, Hasan Naseif, and Samer Jouba from Right to Play for their hard work and their dedication to the joys and importance of play and fun.  Right to Play and TYO have been working together since the spring of 2008 to build youth, volunteer and staff capacity.

Thank you for a great day!

Photo of the Day: Parachute Training!!