Stay in Touch - Jenna


Mohammad and TYO Intern, Jenna, show their excitement after winning the bronze in the sports class’ World Cup tournament!

On many occasions during my internship here at TYO, I heard Suhad, TYO's Psychosocial Program Manager, say that the “children are resilient”. When I first heard this phrase, I was confused and had to ask myself how a child could be resilient. It was not until I began to teach my classes that I fully comprehended what this meant. I soon learned that all my students – the children of Salfeet, my summer campers from the refugee camps of Nablus, and the students of An-Najah National University, all had a certain spark to them; they all had the drive and motivation that I so admire. When put into motion, they become unstoppable.

Looking back, I am so fortunate to have had this experience to intern at an organization like TYO because I had the opportunity to hear the stories of all the people I met. More than that, I am thankful that I was able to interact with these students and to help them to become more aware of their identities, to help them to find their voices inside to express themselves, and to help them to learn about a different culture and language other than their own. Seeing their progress during our short time together has instilled in me the notion that success is always possible as long as there is a will to achieve it. A mere six weeks after starting this internship, my students are not the only ones who have grown. They have shown me my own strengths and weaknesses and furthermore, have inspired me with their resilience.

There is a proverb in Arabic that says, “Open your mouth only if what you are going to say is more beautiful than silence.” As I was reflecting on my time spent here in Nablus working with the all the wonderful children and students, I realized that this proverb vocalized my exact thoughts and feelings.  Hearing the stories of all my students is indeed more “beautiful than silence” and as heartbroken as I am to physically leave all those that I have met in Palestine, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to share all of their stories with my friends and family at home!