TYO Celebrates Refugee Children's Achievements on UN International Youth Day

Please join us in celebrating UN International Youth Day and the last day of our summer session on 12 August 2009 from 1:00 - 4:00 PM at the Zafer al-Masri Foundation Building in Khallet al-Amood, Nablus.  The text of our press release follows. You can also download the press release in English and عربي PDFs on our homepage. August 6, 2009 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


(NABLUS, West Bank) Tomorrow’s Youth Organization (TYO) celebrates United Nations’ International Youth Day on Wednesday, 12 August 2009 in conjunction with the last day of its eight-week summer session. A series of performances and exhibitions, including dabka and athletic performances, an experiment by TYO’s “Mad Scientists” and an art exhibition highlighting the work and interests of young people will take center stage at the Zafer al-Masri Foundation Building in Khallet al-Amood, Nablus from 1:00 to 4:00 pm.  Over 300 participants from the summer program will participate, along with their families.  Journalists and the public are invited to attend.

International Youth Day is of particular significance in Nablus where over 50 percent of the population is under 25 years old.  This year’s theme, “Sustainability: Our Challenge, Our Future,” resonates with TYO’s community-based approach to early childhood education in which children, youth, university students and parents are engaged to work for positive social change.  Sustainability requires that the rising generation have the necessary leadership, communication, and problem solving skills for productive lives as parents, professionals and citizens.

“The people of Nablus are stubbornly hopeful. Their children have grown up amidst the worst years this city has known; yet, as parents, they remain optimistic. The kids and youth who participate in TYO programs personify this hope,” said international director Nell Derick Debevoise.  “The life skills, like creativity and openness, that they learn within TYO’s safe, child-centered environment, coupled with resilience and positive thinking, will enable them to lead their families in improving their community.”

The Summer 2009 Session, which began on June 14, has been an incredible success. Over 100 4- to 8-year-olds from the most marginalized areas of Nablus participate in a holistic, psychosocial program including sports, computer and health lessons. About 200 other Nablus residents (from 6 years to adult) enjoy classes led by five American interns, including science, creative arts, fitness and dance. Approximately 45 service-minded university students volunteer in TYO’s classrooms as role models.

Since beginning operations in March 2008, TYO has established itself as an innovative and effective American organization poised to make a significant difference in the quality of life for marginalized children in Nablus, and soon other locations in the West Bank and Middle East.

For more information about the celebration, please contact Chelsey Berlin at +970/2 (0)598207978 or chelsey@tomorrowsyouth.org.