Teach for Palestine was founded in 2009 by Sean Canavan and Lana Khalaf to provide education opportunities in and around the West Bank city of Nablus.
Today, Sarah Mixon serves as Executive Director with Carl Gibson serving as Assistant Director. Our staff members come from numerous English-speaking countries across the globe.
Teach for Palestine (TfP) currently runs programs in five teaching sites around Nablus, teaching girls aged 6-13.
What we do
TfP works with some of the most at-risk youth in the West Bank, offering them an opportunity to improve their life chances through education. As well as teaching English, we instruct our students in critical thinking, physical education, and art.
We work in numerous community centers in the refugee camps and villages in and around the city of Nablus. We have recently, and successfully, transitioned to an all-girls after-school program that loosely follows the Palestinian state school curriculum. We believe this transition will improve our girls' opportunities in higher education; this will also allow the girls the same chance to experience extra-curricular activities in the same way their male-counterparts do.
Why we do it
English is a necessity in the modern Palestinian economy. Foreign aid, trade, and international investment make up the majority of all economic activity in the West Bank. To access any of these sectors in a meaningful way requires the ability to communicate in English. Well paying careers paths that have the greatest potential to expand and develop the Palestinian economy, such as working in medicine, the sciences, and technology require degrees that are taught primarily in English. This means that most Palestinian students are unable to effectively access and contribute to these fields. English language skills are essential if they are going to have a chance to contribute to their country and build a better life for themselves and their children. Teach for Palestine is giving them that chance.
TFP serves the poorest neighborhoods, the Balata and Askar refugee camps and the villages around Nablus. In these areas unemployment is exceptionally high and opportunities (especially for young women) are rare. The majority of the information necessary to innovate, invent and create is primarily available in English. By giving our students access to that information, we give them access to opportunity.