Interning at TYO was by far the best (and most rewarding) work experience I've ever had. TYO is an NGO that is making a sustainable impact among the women and youth from the nearby refugee camps the poorest neighborhoods in Nablus. TYO's multi-generational approach is unique - when a child learns about proper nutrition or hygiene in TYO's non-formal educational classes, their mothers also have the opportunity to learn about diet, exercise, and hygiene in their classes so that changes can be made within the home. During my time at TYO, I learned so much about how to effectively use psychosocial interventions in my classes (I taught a sports class for refugee children ages 9-10) to help my students really understand who they are, where they are from, and why they are important. In just a few weeks I was able to witness profound behavioral changes in my classes by using these interventions - the students were no longer hitting each other or calling each other names; they were beginning to hold hands and make lasting friendships. TYO is exceptional because it considers all the social factors that impact the health of their beneficiaries - for example, the women and children are provided transportation to and from TYO's center, they are given healthy snacks (hummus and wheat pita with carrot sticks and cucumbers), and most of all, they are provided with a safe, enriching center where they can come in and actually be themselves. I would go back and work for TYO in a heartbeat!
This is an NGO that really makes a difference on the ground. The results are evident in the obvious development of the children and from the services that are offered to women. I had the pleasure of volunteering for the women's business incubation program as well as teaching some IT classes for women and could see very clearly the confidence boost women gained from learning new skills and learning to develop and market their businesses. Immeasurable. TYO is genuinely investing in the future of its beneficiaries and is one of the few NGOs in the region that I would support without reservation.
TYO is a stellar organization with a truly special staff and group of volunteers. They are making a difference on so many levels, both in the long-term and on a daily basis. It's a place where kids can let go of everything else and play, learn, laugh and just be kids. This is an organization that gets it; they know what it takes to improve the lives of the people they serve, and they show up every day to accomplish that mission with enthusiasm, perseverance and positivity. Keep it up, TYO!
TYO is special because everyone there genuinely cares about being a positive place for the kids and the women-not about trying to impress donors or follow industry trends. The focus and the resources are devoted 100% to their beneficiaries.
I think that what makes TYO unique is that if the American staff left Nablus today, there is such an amazing group of local volunteers and staff that the organization would continue to make real change through the variety of program it offers. TYO educates the program's participants, but also implements sustainable projects due to its ability to build a strong foundation of community support and participation. My experience in Nablus gave the the opportunity to understand how an efficient INGO is run, work with experienced staff who wanted to share their knowledge and experience, as well as the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the at-risk youth and women of Nablus. TYO is an amazing organization and I think the work they do will be fully realized when the youth they work with grow up and become the leaders of their own community.
TYO is a truly amazing organization that empowers women and children in some of the most underserved areas in the West Bank. Every child at TYO is valued and loved and it's refreshing to see how transformative their work is.
TYO takes a multi-generational approach to supporting Palestinian refugees, working with pre-school aged youth through middle school aged, providing volunteer and professional development opportunities for adolescents and young adults, and educational opportunities for women. Programs focus on developing psychosocial skills, critical thinking, English, and technology skills, as well as on supporting women entrepreneurs in their businesses. The programs are designed to be responsive to community needs and interests, and provide a safe space for youth and adults alike to play and learn.
TYO provides women and children in an otherwise unpredictable environment stability in the form of psychosocial non-religious, non-political educational programming. I doubt anyone could find a more structured, efficient and effective NGO than TYO in Palestine or elsewhere. The wait list to get into the program is enough evidence of the wonderful things TYO is providing to the community. This is an organization that earned mine and my co-intern's respect by pushing us to connect with our students and the neighborhood. Support TYO, they deserve it!!
TYO is an incredibly special organization that works tirelessly to serve the Nablus and surrounding communities at a time when the critical needs of women and children in Palestine are often underrepresented and even ignored. I have seen firsthand the holistic and deeply thoughtful approach that everyone at TYO uses to best take on current challenges in the community, and the results are inspiring. On a personal level, my experience at TYO was a turning point in deciding to pursue studies, living and work in the region. More than any other place I have worked or volunteered, TYO changes the lives of those both in the community it serves and all those, like me, that have been fortunate enough to take part in it.
In a place where there are few safe public spaces for children to learn through play, TYO offers such an arena. I spent 8 months at TYO in Nablus – 3 months as a volunteer intern and 5 months as a projector coordinator. TYO is an asset to the local community it serves, and a focal point for Nabulsis - especially children and women - to get together and develop skills and confidence through education.
Both the international and local Palestinian staff work hard to ensure that TYO is efficiently run and effective in its psychosocial strategies for improving the lives of the local community.