They’re Anything but Boring!

If you decide to venture all the way up to the 5th floor on any given morning at TYO, The Women’s Group is in session you’ll hear just one thing above the musical selections of Shakira, J-Lo, and Nicki Minaj. You’ll hear the sound of at least 25 women laughing and chattering between crunches, jumping jacks, a little Zumba, and of course catching their breath. The Women’s Group here at TYO was established to provide mothers of the Core Program’s children, as well as other local women, with a safe place to come explore topics that they otherwise wouldn’t have to opportunity to learn about. They engage in seminar sessions ranging from everything from education and literacy to mental health and sexual abuse. But up on the 5th floor, it’s all about moving our bodies in order to keep them working for a long time.

Sir Isaac Newton said it first, "An object at rest stays at rest while an object in motion stays in motion." This basic law of physics also stands true for our bodies and the women in the fitness classes are now starting to understand the role daily physical activity plays in helping them achieve a life free from the chronic pain caused by a sedentary routine.

Ra’eda, Emily, Manar, and Salam enjoying the warmth of the 5th floor patio after fitness class.

The Women’s Group and Fitness Class give all the participants an excuse to foster strong female relationships, but this is especially true for Manar and her two aunts, Ra’eda and Salam. It’s their first time being a part of The Women’s Group and they already agree that it has quickly become the best part of their day. They enjoy meeting new women from all around Nablus, but particularly getting the chance to leave home, laugh, and spend time with each other outside of their homes at TYO, a new and exciting atmosphere for them. When I asked them what they would be doing if they didn’t come to The Women’s Group today they smirked, shrugged their shoulders, and responded, "The same as everyday, being boring.” Although it’s near impossible for me to image the 3 of them being anything but robust and enthusiastic, I know that their days at home cooking and cleaning must be mind-numbing compared to dancing up a storm with a group of equally as excited and animated women. Come to think of it, I too can’t think of anywhere more entertaining than our little slice of freedom up on the 5th floor!


Emily is a TYO intern in Nablus