YES Programs



Alumni Spotlight: Tamba S. Abdulai

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Above: Tamba (right) takes photo with Global Youth Ambassador, Mohamed Sidibay, at the 2017 IEARN Conference and Youth Summit in Morocco.

Every month, YES alumni continue to demonstrate am admirable passion for service and global change through their phenomenal contributions to communities around the world. Throughout the years, alumni have demonstrated an ability to identify societal issues, develop strategies and tactics for offering solutions, create plans of social good action, and evaluate the success of their projects. The YES Alumni Spotlight of the Month has proven to be an advocate for change and service, developing a sustainable organization to empower a nation through education and to contribute to the advancement of girls. 

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Inspired by his YES experience in the U.S., Tamba S. Abdulai (YES 2013-2014, Sierra Leone, hosted by Ayusa in Greeley, CO) traveled back to his home in Sierra Leone with a goal to keep underprivileged children in school. A 2007 study released by UNESCO showed that children, ages 9-14 years old, could not attend school because their families could not afford school fees. Today, this is still a problem as tuition is still unaffordable for many households. In response to this problem, Tamba launched the Tamba Abdulai Foundation in 2014 to provide scholarships, school uniforms, and school supplies to marginalized students. With the help of the Civic Education Workshop training in Washington D.C., Tamba created a proposal equipped with a strategy and evaluation plan to help children in his community. Before returning to Sierra Leone, the alumnus gained the support of the Journey Christian Church and his host school, Greeley Central High School, going back home with his first donation to start his scholarship foundation. 

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Only a few months after returning to Sierra Leone, Tamba was able to pitch his social good initiative to churches and schools, earning an abundance of support, partnerships, and his first cohort of 20 scholarship recipients! 

In addition to fulfilling the UN Sustainable goal for quality education, Tamba also sought to spread awareness about the value of education to parents in various villages. He believes that helping parents understand the importance of education will increase their involvement in matters pertaining to education. Tamba organized a workshop for the parents, creating an environment for them to discuss challenges and opportunities for their children.

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Three years later, Tamba is still adding layers to his foundation, distributing scholarships to over 100 students, raising over $4,000 dollars on his GoFundMe page, and expanding the awareness of his foundation to an international community of supporters and friends. Tamba has also joined the global efforts to empower girls through education. According to UNICEF, the literacy rate of girls in Sierra Leone was 52% in 2012. Frequent updates on the Tamba Abdulai Foundation's Facebook page show his commendable efforts to uplift the girl child and to bring out their fullest potential. 

To the right: A Tamba Abdulai Foundation participant poses for the camera.

Visit the Tamba Abdulai's Foundation's website to learn more about how you can support Tamba's initiatives. 


This month's prompt is about your host community.

Go to to submit YOUR story about your host community in America.

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