A Place for University Students to Enhance Their Education
TYO provides psychosocial programs for children, youth and parents to improve their overall mental health. In providing these programs, TYO collaborates with An-Najah University, the largest university in Nablus. This session, students from the Faculty of Nursing at An-Najah, implement theories and knowledge acquired in their courses and lectures with practical experiences in TYO’s classrooms.
Every Tuesday, nursing majors enrolled in the Community Mental Health course at An-Najah, come to TYO with their instructor for a lecture. They discuss their theoretical lessons and subsequently, how they view aspects from the lessons in their interactions with children at TYO.
According to Mais, a nursing student, volunteering in the classrooms of TYO’s Core Program, is a great opportunity to engage directly with young children. It used to be quite difficult for him to handle child behavioral issues, however since implementing techniques learned from lectures and from trainings and hands-on work at TYO, she has acquired the skills to engage and involve students. She hopes in the future to work with children in the health sector in Palestine.
Another volunteer, Ala’, also feels strongly about her experience at TYO. Her lectures at the university came to life as she learned firsthand how to interact with children. At first, Ala' thought she understood the lives of these refugee children, however since volunteering at TYO, she now truly understands what it means for a child to live in a crowded area, with no safe place to play and with very little parental supervision. She also sees the impact TYO can have on some of Nablus’s most disadvantaged populations. For Ala’, putting her education to practical use is very beneficial. She feels fortunate that she has the chance to learn outside the university’s classroom and looks forward to continue her education through this type of interactive learning process in the future.
Nablus doesn’t offer many other opportunities for students to observe the mental health of children over a long period of time. Because TYO’s programs run all year long, students are able to observe the psychosocial context in which TYO works. Previously, TYO worked with Master students from An-Najah enrolled in the Alternative Therapy course. The Dean of the Faculty of Nursing received great feedback from the Master students about their experiences and because of it, the Dean has directed An-Najah's Community Mental Health class to TYO. We hope to continue working closely with An-Najah and the Faculty of Nursing in making TYO a learning center throughout the city of Nablus.