A Day of Play
The Fall 2013 twelve-week session delivered children through the doors of Tomorrow’s Youth Organization from the most disadvantaged areas in Nablus, including four area refugee camps. Last week, those children had the opportunity to celebrate their achievements and growth with some let-loose play.
The morning program at TYO hosts almost 80 children between the ages of three and five in a preschool setting, focusing on art, imagination, concentration, English language and sports. These children - Nablus’ youngest community members - are oftentimes forgotten when plans are developed and new infrastructure is created. Focus remains on erecting new roads and government buildings, and playgrounds and safe spaces for children are placed on the back burner. Yet with our youngest Nabulsis set to be the future leaders of the community, it is extremely important that we, as educators and decision-makers, provide a safe space within which they can explore, play, and develop as young people.
After a session filled with hard work, learning activities and psychosocial programming, the children left the center last week to enjoy time at Nabuls Childhood Happiness Center. Our final week in the TYO Core Child morning program was focused on communication, problem solving and appropriate farewells. We used this morning of free play as a chance for our children to interact with others outside of their classrooms, to practice their problem-solving skills through sharing of toys and playground equipment and to learn appropriate goodbye techniques.
The children and staff expressed their farewells through the help of a certificate ceremony, celebrating the students’ achievements throughout the session.
In the afternoon Core Child Program, we were privileged to have Right to Play Palestine visit our center and create a memorable afternoon for our older students. TYO has a long-standing relationship with Right to Play and we share many of the same goals for the children of Palestine. This session, Right to Play created a day of fun and games that used our themes of Communication, Logic & Problem Solving to provide our 6 to 8 year old children with structured and active learning.
The Core Child Program afternoon students used small group interaction to problem solve and race through various obstacle courses and complete tasks. Their chants and cheers echoed through Khalet el Amood in support of their classmates.
After twelve weeks at TYO, our Core Child Program students leave our Center armed with coping skills, improved communication, anger management techniques and problem solving methods. We aim to send our children off with the ability to face the hardships dealt them in Nablus’ most underserved communities and come out stronger on the other side. Armed with these skills, the children of TYO are destined to be great leaders, scholars and citizens.
Suhad is the Psychosocial Program Manager at TYO in Nablus. This blog was edited by TYO Fall 2013 Intern Jessica.