YES Programs



A Sustainable Christmas in Gaza


On December 26,10 YES alumni finished decorating a Christmas tree at the YMCA in Gaza. The alumni used decorations made of recycled materials to raise awareness about the importance of sustainable living. The YES alumni collaborated with the English Access Microscholarship alumni and staff from the National Institute for Environment and Development to produce 500 Christmas tree decorations.The decorations were made from household waste materials such as cardboard boxes, plastic bottles, bottle caps, clothing, paper, and eggshells. 

Karam Qaoud And Mohammad Abuajwa Yes 18 And Access Alumnus Sael Safi Hanging Some Decorations

In one week, the alumni reshaped these materials into Christmas ornaments. The alumni then held a small event and invited 35 individuals from the YMCA to speak about the Christmas decorations and the significance of recycling. The alumni also distributed brochures about solid waste in Gaza and its impact on the local environment.

One of the members of the YMCA stated, “it was very interesting to use recycled materials to make Christmas tree ornaments. I am fond of the message this activity delivered.”


In May, write a thank you letter to your host family, host community, or favorite teacher! 

Check out this month's story prompt at and submit your story!