1. Little Free Libraries in Bulgaria: On June 28-29, Elitsa Stoeva (YES ’17/ASSE) (pictured above) and Nazmie Mustafa (YES ’16/YFU USA), along with other volunteers, painted wooden boxes to serve as “Little Free Libraries” where community members can borrow or trade books. The alumni were joined by 100 children in installing the first library at a local children’s center. The children placed books in the library, talked about their favorite books and characters, and recited poetry. These little libraries are sure to be a big success!
2. Kiwalan Elementary School Outreach Program in the Philippines: Nahida H. Ali (YES ’14/FLAG) along with other volunteers from KASAMA (student government of Mindanao State) volunteered to help gather school supplies for 70 kindergarten students in Kiwalan Elementary School in Iligan City. With schoolbags full of supplies, these students are ready to fill their brains this year!
3. Code for Freedom Workshop in Bangladesh: From June 4-26, Mehzabin Chowdhury (YES ’17/AFS USA) recruited 11 volunteers to provide 25 young women with free lessons in computers, graphic design, presentation skills, public speaking, leadership skills, and English language trainings. These young women gained technological and professional skills that will make them more competitive in the workforce, particularly within the IT sector. The world is at these young ladies’ fingertips!
4. Art for Everyone Volunteer Activity in Bosnia and Herzegovina: On June 8, Amela Nevaljalovic (YES ’17/ CIEE) led a program for fifth grade students at Safvet Beg Basagic Elementary School. Approximately 40 students had the opportunity to explore art as a tool for self-expression, through drawing and coloring! Participants then shared their messages with their schoolmates by decorating the school hallways with their artwork. These budding artists are sure to ‘draw’ a crowd once school resumes in the fall!
5. Podujeva Academic Workshop Series in Kosovo: On June 30, Malsore Jusufi (YES ’15/ACIE), and other volunteers began the seven-week Podujeva Academic Writing Series, also known as ‘PAWS’. This hands-on, project-based program promotes creativity, critical thinking, and collaborative problem-solving for 20 high school students. PAWS will be the ‘purr-fect’ way to keep the minds of these students sharp this summer!
6. Visiting YES Access Classes in Lebanon: Throughout June, YES alumni throughout Lebanon visited summer Access classes across the country, playing interactive games with students around the theme of diversity. Alumni used their personal experiences with diversity during their YES years in the U.S. to promote diversity and mutual understanding among the Access students. We’re proud of these alumni for growing the YES community and building lasting friendships!
7. Youth English Classes in Senegal: On June 13, Alumni Coordinator Aita Diakhate (YES ’11/AYUSA) and Aita Mbaye (YES ’12/AFS USA) held their final English class for 14 sixth grade students at Gorée Elementary School, concluding a weekly program they began in January 2018. Over the course of the program, participants learned the alphabet, numbers, colors, words for clothing, introducing themselves and greeting others, telling the date and time, and also learned many songs in English. These students are all smiles and ready to show off their English skills!
8. Jacobabad Youth Summer Camp in Pakistan: On June 21-22, Diksha Ahuja (YES ’13/STS Foundation) implemented a two-day summer camp for 120 youth between the ages of 15 and 16. The camp was an educational immersive experience on health and interfaith harmony. Diksha invited medical experts to lead a First Aid training session and discuss mental and physical health. Participants also learned strategies to become more adaptive, compromising, and loving when living in diverse and multi-faith communities. Way to dish up a ‘healthy’ dose of positivity, Diksha!
9. Fun With English and Life Skills Workshops in Suriname: YES Alumni Julencia Slamet (YES ’17/AYUSA), Iraisha Shaban (YES'16/AYA-AIFS), and Sharona Raghoebir (YES ’18/AFS USA) hosted Suriname’s second English language workshop this year, with the addition of a unique “Life Skills” workshop, where 18 youth between 6-8 years of age were exposed to the English language and strengthened their communication skills. Alumni led these young students in team building and problem-solving activities, and closed with a discussion on social justice and peace. It’s never too early to start building these critical life skills!
10. Team Building and Leadership Training in the West Bank: The YES Alumni Network in the West Bank organized a Team Building and Leadership workshop for 35 YES alumni on the June 23-24 at the Jacir Palace in Bethlehem. The training provided an opportunity for the YES alumni to improve their communication, teamwork, and leadership skills. Alumni also had the chance to connect and build lasting relationships. Teamwork makes the dream work!