Final Farewell - Kyra
As I look back over the last 5 weeks, I cannot believe how time has flown. Just yesterday I felt like I was nervously waiting at the airport, anxious to begin this incredible adventure that is about to end. While I knew from pre-arrival guides, Skype sessions, and even in-person interviews that I would be busy with work, I had no idea being an intern at TYO would be my first real job.
As an intern at TYO, one has many responsibilities from drafting lesson plans to monitoring and evaluation. I drafted and perfected four unique curriculums, one for a Basic English and Professional Competency course at An-Najah University, a second for a fitness program for women in The Women's Group, a third for arts and crafts for refugee teenagers and a fourth for a Saturday multi-activity class for TYO’s neighborhood children. On top of that, interns take weekly trips to the pool, local football stadium, and spend hours reporting on their work and analyzing their classes.
As an intern, these tasks were difficult and sometimes felt tedious, but in the process I developed real professional skills and real relationships with students, the TYO staff and my fellow interns that I will treasure for the rest of my life. Beyond the monitoring and evaluation reports, interns work with refugee children in the classroom, introducing them to the field of psychosocial programming - a focal point of TYO’s work - in the context of Nablus. Working alongside volunteers and translators introduces interns to the different cultures of volunteerism around the world. Additionally those who teach women’s fitness programs as part of The Women's Group – such as myself – learn the importance of women’s empowerment in making changes in a community and in community’s health. Altogether the multifaceted internship reinforces how making lasting changes in a region requires examining and addressing the situation from multiple angles.
Lastly, TYO, unlike any other organization I have been a part of proves an organization does not need, nor should stray from its mission to achieve success. TYO interns see the work of those at TYO is all the same, “to enable children, youth, and parents in disadvantaged areas of the Middle East to realize their potential as healthy, active and responsible family and community members.” It does so because it truly works to address the needs and concerns of the communities it is serving. I am so thankful I have had the chance to join this family and the moments I shared with the TYO staff, women, volunteers, interns and especially the children have made every moment of this internship feel like a priceless treasure.