In the village of Runde in Southern Nigeria, many make less than $1 dollar a day. This poverty means that parents can barely afford food, not to mention an education for their children. Even the cheapest public school is out of the question. This leaves many rural children without an education and destined to a future as a roadside seller.
In Runde, this has effected 20 students between the ages of five and nine. While volunteering in a neighboring village, a group of YES and Iowa Resourse for International Service (IRIS) alumni, including Munira Abdul, Victor Shaaka, Faith Dabola and Rufaida Kamal, heard of the issue. They felt like they had to help. Munira Abdul, a 2012/2013 alumna who stayed in Burlington, Iowa during her exchange said,
"What made me passionate about this project was their eagerness and willingness to learn even though they have no idea what the future holds. These people barely have enough to eat and have no means to have a better future. But, they still make efforts to help their kids and hope their children have a better future. It's really an honor being able to help them take a first step towards their dream."
So, the group set out to construct a one room schoolhouse where the rural students could learn math and English. They started with no construction background, just the help of a few Runde Villagers. With funding provided by IRIS' Global Grants Program they constructed a single room. A recent college graduate stepped forward to teach the children, and some of the alumni even plan on coming back to help teach the children English.
Each year, IRIS/YES alumni complete dozens of projects just like this, spreading the spirit of volunteerism instilled in them during their time in the States. The scope of the YES program touches so many lives that is truly unmeasurable.