Suhad Jabi Masri is the Center Director of Tomorrow’s Youth Organization and has worked with the organization for ten years. She specializes in therapy for women who suffer from domestic abuse and traumatized children and families. Suhad holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from An Najah University, a Master of Arts in Art Therapy from European University in Switzerland, and a Master of Arts in Family Therapy from the University of Rochester in New York. As Center Director, she approaches TYO’s programs with the goal to empower people to realize their potential, broaden their thinking, and shape their own futures.
Tomorrow’s Youth Organization has an exciting year coming up! What is new for TYO in 2018?
2018 is an exciting year of growth for TYO! We will begin implementing several new programs with the support of Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD). With this support, we will continue to improve the quality of our current programs while simultaneously expanding our reach into the community with new programs for new target groups. We will work on scaling up the quality of the Palestinian education sector through direct investment in early childhood education for young children, academic intervention for older children, and drop-out prevention for youth. Throughout the foundation years of childhood, youth spend the majority of their time in educational environments. Challenges they face throughout the early years of their lives have a direct impact on their futures. By investing in children and youth through supportive and empowering programs, TYO seeks to positively impact individuals, families, and the community to reach their full potential. In addition to educational support, TYO is furthering our holistic approach by providing a team of psychologists and social workers to work side by side with teachers to best meet the mental, emotional, and physical needs of children and their families.
For university students and recent graduates, there are unique challenges to be faced as they transition into adulthood. For many, the expectation of obtaining employment in their area of interest after graduation is an unfulfilled dream. Without employment, these youth struggle with confidence and limited vision of what the future can be. At the end of university studies, students have the theoretical knowledge needed to pursue their interests, but lack the real world skills needed for successful employment. TYO provides opportunities to university students and recent graduates to participate across our programming as volunteers. Through volunteering, young adults receive training in soft skills such as teamwork, leadership, and communication while also obtaining professional competency skills that can be vital for employment such as time management, professional writing, and public speaking. Time spent as a volunteer in TYO classrooms also prepares youth to be role models for children in their families and communities. Under the support of QFFD, volunteers with excellent participation in TYO programs will have the opportunity to apply for scholarships to continue their education at local universities.
In addition to volunteer opportunities, TYO is launching a new youth entrepreneurship program to address the issue of unemployment for recent university graduates in Palestine. Years of high unemployment rates have left communities with an excess of workers for minimal positions. To address this issue, with the support of QFFD, TYO is initiating a new entrepreneurship program for youth with a dream and the passion to create their own businesses. By providing tools, training, and financial support to new entrepreneurs, youth will have the skills and knowledge needed to become their own boss and employ others in their community.
TYO embraces a multi-generational approach and it would not best serve the children and youth to provide an environment for growth that does not reach beyond the walls of the TYO Center. TYO is extending our expertise in developing supportive environments for children by providing classes and training for the mothers of participants in our early childhood programs. As the youngest children participate in TYO classes, their mothers will also receive training in parenting skills to support their children as they learn and grow. Mothers will also have a safe, supportive environment to build a community of parents with a common goal of ensuring their children are happy, safe, and loved.
That sounds an exciting year! What are you looking forward to the most in 2018?
For the past 10 years, the team at TYO has always done our best to insure the needs of our beneficiaries are met. By focusing on the quality of our programs instead of the quantity, we have been able to provide excellent services for participants of our programs. However, the needs in the community are great and we want to do more. We are fortunate to have the support of QFFD as we extend our services to meet the community where they most need assistance while also maintaining a high quality of services. My hope for 2018 is that the roots of the past 10 years anchor themselves deeply while we continue to grow taller and wider in impact for the Nablus community.
– Interview conducted by Katherine, Fall 2017 International Intern