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For Children Around the World: Five Ways YES Alumni are Building a Brighter Tomorrow for Youth

Kuwait Amideast 2

Throughout November, YES alumni gave back to youth in their communities around the world.

1. Engaging Kuwaiti children with special needs in inclusive and fun activities

Eleven YES alumni visited Al-Kharafi Activity Kids Center to read stories to children at the center and distribute gifts (photos above and below). Through its after school program and rehabilitation program for girls, the center is able to assist both children with special needs ages 4 to 13 and young women with special needs ages 13 to 25. Prior to their visit, the alumni in Kuwait held an American-style bake sale at their various schools to raise funds to purchase gifts for the children. 

Amideast Kuwait 1

2. Spreading holiday cheer in Bulgaria

Throughout November, Dimitrinka Nenchova (YES ’14) worked with a group of friends to send Christmas gifts to young people ages 9 to 17 at two homes for young adults in Varna: the Asylum for Homeless Children and the Centre for Work with Children on the Street. Their efforts were part of a larger project initiated by the Gavroche Association, a group of active citizens in Varna that works to provide food, shelter, and everyday care to both homeless and impoverished children and youth for more than 20 years. Thanks to their efforts, Dimitrinka and her friends were able to assist the Gavroche Association in reaching its goal of supplying individual gifts to 48 children!

3. Building a school and increasing equal access to education in Nigeria 

In the village of Runde in southern Nigeria, many young children are unable to afford public schooling. Four YES alumni decided to tackle this issue by constructing a classroom for local children (photo below). With the help of a few villagers and a grant from IRIS, the alumni were able to build the classroom and help arrange volunteer teachers to give lessons in math and English three times a week. Thanks to these alumni, many more students in Runde will have equal access to education!

Nigeria Iris Schoolhouse

4. Teaching youth about different cultures in Suriname through arts and games

Seven YES alumni in Suriname celebrated International Education Week with the residents of a local community home for children. The goal of the visit was to share the diverse cultures of Suriname with the children. Through art, group conversations, and “djoel” (a popular children’s game in Suriname), alumni were able to promote cultural diversity within their country!

5. Empowering students at the Bayoub Primary School in Tunisia

Four YES ’16 alumni volunteered last month with an outreach program at the American Cooperative School in Tunis to visit an under-developed primary school in M'Ghira, Tunisia (photo below). The alumni helped by serving on the art committee, collecting and donating resources to the school, and reaching out to the students of M’Ghira to build buy-in and ownership of their school, inspire volunteerism, and get involved in making it a better place. 

Tunisia