The Enthusiastic Return of Volunteers
With the start of TYO's Core Child and Triple Exposure programs this week, our Youth Service Learning (YSL) Program has also hit the ground running. Recruiting university students from various local universities, including An-Najah University in Nablus, we welcomed more than 80 new and returning faces to our center. TYO understands the significance the YSL program is to its own programming and classes, but also, its importance to the youth in the city of Nablus. In the West Bank, an estimated 61 percent of its nearly two million residents are under the age of 24 (UNRWA). Employment prospects for 15 to 24 year olds, YSL's target age group, are dim in the Middle East, where the age group’s unemployment rates average 25%. The UN office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs estimates total unemployment in Nablus to be 60 percent, and as high as 80 percent in refugee camps, TYO’s primary target areas.
Through YSL, hundreds of young adults, many of them current students or recent graduates, have been trained in classroom management, working with and mentoring children with special psychosocial needs, professional conduct, leadership, and public speaking. In addition to these trainings, Fall session volunteers learned more about TYO, its mission and its goals for the YSL Program.
One of the most important aspects of the YSL program is the opportunities for skills training and professional development, including classes focusing on interview skills and resume building. These skill-based trainings increase employability and program participation encourages a culture of volunteerism and civic engagement among college-aged students.
One TYO volunteer explains, "This semester will be my last at An-Najah University. Afterwards, I plan on traveling outside to continue my education. For my last session here at TYO, I look forward to giving it my all in this program".
We look forward to the session ahead, including the start of intern classes next week!
Ahmad is the Volunteer Coordinator.