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2020 YES Alumni Grants Competition

Highlight Boys Group Work

The U.S. State Department and American Councils for International Education are pleased to announce the 2020 Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Alumni Grants Competition. The grants are funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) and administered by American Councils for International Education. The grants are available to YES and YES Abroad alumni to enable you to contribute to your communities through projects in areas such as:

  • Inclusion of People with Disabilities**
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Interfaith Dialogue
  • Media Literacy
  • English Language and American Culture
  • Women’s and Girls’ Empowerment

** In honor of the July 2020 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the YES Alumni Grants program strongly encourages grant project proposals for activities or events held through December 2020 based on the theme of fostering an inclusive environment, working with people with disabilities, or disabilities advocacy. Extra consideration will be given to strong applications along this theme.

Grant projects can begin anytime after July 1, 2020 and must be completed by March 31, 2021. The application will be open from December 17, 2019 through January 31, 2020. Stay tuned to YES social media and the YES alumni opportunities page in December for a link to the application.

A Grants Program Overview and Proposal Writing webinar will be held on December 12, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time. This webinar will provide a general overview of the YES Alumni Grants program, including grant program guidelines, types of projects, timeline, selection criteria, application process, and budgeting tips. It will discuss how to articulate a project idea in a grant proposal and cover the essential elements of writing a compelling proposal. Participants will be encouraged to come up with innovative ways to address the who, what, where, when, why, and how of potential projects. Sign up for the webinar.

Need some inspiration from your fellow alumni? Read about a few of last year’s projects!


Zeenat Student Of Shtd Working In The University Of Ghana Guest Centre Restaurant

Zeenat Ameena (Ghana, YES ’10), hosted by CIEE in Marysville, WA, conducted N’Ting Hands-On Project, a project which provided training and career guidance for over 100 deaf and hard of hearing high school seniors from the Senior High Technical School for the Deaf (SHTD) in Mampong Akwapim. The project included site visits and one-day internships at organizations and institutions, ranging from a factory that produces footballs to restaurants to art institutes. 


Ardiani Audwina Yes Alumni Grant 2018 Photo 3

Ardiani Audwina (Indonesia, YES ’15), hosted by AFS in Batavia, IL, received grant funding to conduct Book Barter, a project to empower youth through literacy. Ardiani and her project team conducted a series of literacy and leadership workshops for 200 middle and high school students from underprivileged neighborhoods of Bandung.


Jehads Higlight Image

Jehad Oumer (Libya, YES ’17), hosted by AFS in Washington, DC, received grant funding to conduct TechMakers. The project involved two-day intensive robotics training programs at six public middle schools in Tripoli. Through user-friendly robotics kits, participants engaged with programming and robotics concepts with simple and creative challenges. 


Din Kamal Summer Sister Program Alumna Faryal Sharing Her Expereince


Kamal Din (Pakistan, YES ’12), hosted by ACES in Sioux Falls, SD, received grant funding to conduct Educational Expo, a project which strived to equip underprivileged students of Gilgit-Baltistan with skills and information needed to gain admission into college and find scholarships. Kamal and his project team conducted 13 Educational Expos across Gilgit, the northern mountainous region of Pakistan, benefitting more than 4,000 students in total. 


Ratu Participants Present The Result Of Their Group Discussion

Ratu Chairunisa (Indonesia, YES ’14), hosted by YFU in Ann Arbor, MI, received grant funding to hold a debate-centered women's training camp called Home to Opportunity and Practical Equality (HOPE). The camp was attended by 36 female students from high schools throughout Aceh. Training was delivered by field experts and included topics such as starting a business, concepts of gender and the importance of women in government, and the position of women from an Islamic perspective. 


School Supplies Tamba

Tamba Abdulai (Sierra Leone, YES ’14), hosted by AYUSA in Greeley, CO, received grant funding to conduct Empowering Girls Through Education during the 2018-19 academic year. Tamba and his project team distributed school supplies and uniforms to 85 students in Kono District. Following the distribution of materials, the alumni were joined by the Deputy Mayor, Deputy Director of the Ministry of Education, the Senior Town Chief, and other esteemed guests to speak to 192 parents and students about the importance of girls’ education. Tamba held four additional educational awareness sessions with 140 community leaders and parents and 95 students from 18 villages throughout the course of his project.


Massolian Doing Hair


Massolian Fahnbulleh (Liberia, YES ’12), hosted by AFS in Anchorage, AK, received grant funding to conduct Women’s Self-Reliance Initiative (WORSI). WORSI aimed to promote gender equality by providing young women with the vocational skills training needed to join the workforce. In the first phase of the project, 40 young women between the ages of 14 and 25 learned about baking and cosmetology. In another session of WORSI, 25 young women learned how to braid hair. 


Joseph Ribbon Cutting

Joseph Latimo Maicibi (Nigeria, YES ’12), hosted by AYUSA in Greeley, CO, received grant funding to conduct Library for Sustainable Development. Joseph and eight fellow alumni conducted the project in partnership with the National Association of Tula Students (NATS) and aimed to provide the youth of Tula with adequate literature for their personal and professional development. The project team sought community buy-in, set up the library with furniture and materials, and purchased the text books for the library, which is open to the public. 


Lincoln Ninneh Photo 5

Lincoln Ninneh (Liberia, YES ’14), hosted by AFS in Nolensville, TN, received grant funding to conduct Teach for Healthy Lives, a two-day diabetes education and awareness event. On the first day of the event, the organizing team discussed diabetes on a local radio show that has an approximate reach of 30,000 listeners. After the radio show, the team visited four different communities for educational outreach, speaking with 63 community members about diabetes prevention. On the second day of the workshop, 73 community members learned about diabetes prevention at the Zwedru Youth Center. 


Khan Artsy Audience

Muhammad Hamza Khan (Pakistan, YES ’12), hosted by American Councils for International Education in Park Falls, WI, received grant funding to conduct Schools 4 Change, program to bring about awareness among youths about non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Mohammad and his project team training 35 students from a high school in Rawalpindi on the prevention of NCDs, including avoiding tobacco use, maintaining a healthy diet, and the importance of physical activity and mental health. The students in turn held classroom discussions and presentations on NCDs to students at their own schools. The students collectively educated approximately 500 fellow students about preventing NCDs. 

Have questions? Contact [email protected].


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Tell us about your favorite holiday experiences in December! 

What new American holidays have you learned about and celebrated with your host family? 

Check out this month's story prompt at bit.ly/YESstorywriting and submit your story!

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