Reflecting on Five Years of Achievement in Nablus

Last Monday didn't just mark the start of a new week here in Nablus- it also was also time to reflect on TYO's five years of achievement in Nablus, as well as start the next five years off right. Supporters and partners from Palestine, Jordan, and the United States joined us to celebrate our impact and progress made since we opened our doors to the community in March 2008. The entire TYO community was thrilled to hear Chairman Sabih Masri’s enthusiastic support for our accomplishments this far. He surprised the crowd with a generous commitment to entrust TYO with the renovation and management of his father’s soap factory as a revenue-generating project. This is a game-changing opportunity for TYO that will both contribute to the organization’s sustainability as well as advancing our mission to enhance the city of Nablus as a cultural treasure.

Leading up to Mr. Masri’s announcement, Country Director Humaira Wakili discussed the results of each of TYO’s four program areas: early childhood, women’s empowerment, youth volunteerism, and international internships. She called on the audience to help TYO in the next five years, opening five new centers serving five new locations.  Next, TYO’s founding director, Nell Derick Debevoise, invited the audience to help TYO generate revenues (rather than collect donations) through mutually beneficial programs using TYO’s core competencies, such as English teaching, international connections, or positive PR, to meet their businesses’ needs.

Core Teacher Mohammed talks about TYO's influence.

To illustrate the potential for such win-win arrangements, TYO staff and participants talked about how their involvement with TYO has helped them. TYO psychosocial program manager, Suhad Jabi Masri, discussed the satisfaction she gains from working at TYO. Mohammed Abulkibash, TYO Core Program Teacher, shared his journey with TYO, calling it the first place that he could live up to his potential.

Former TYO intern Colin speaks about his experience.

Former TYO intern, Colin Powers, offered his perspective on the benefit of working with TYO as an American. He credited the learning from multiple stints as a TYO volunteer with much of his passion for and success in the Master’s Degree he’s pursuing at Johns Hopkins SAIS.  Sahar Dweikat, FlyerAd founder and participant in TYO’s women entrepreneurship programs since 2010, talked about how TYO has enabled her to live up to her long-time goal of starting her own business to change her community.

Chairman Sabih Masri chats with Core Program teachers

In true TYO style, the event included an illustrious VIP section as well as children from our core program, volunteers from An Najah University, and American interns. It was the first visit by Mr. Sabih Masri since he was appointed Chairman of TY6O this spring. Reflecting TYO’s status as the only American NGO based in the northern West Bank, Consul General Michael Ratney came from the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem for his first visit to TYO since reporting for duty in Jerusalem.

If you’d like to learn more and take a look at the day’s happenings, we encourage you to check out this clip from Nablus TV and our Facebook photos. And most importantly, we encourage you to join us for the next five years!