From big wins for the environment to workshops promoting peace for hundreds of participants, #YESAlumni did a lot in August to make the world a better place. Here a few featured projects.
Shutter Speed Workshop
Eleven alumni took part in a photography and videography workshop held in August 23 in Tanjung Bungah, Malaysia. The workshop was conceived, organized, and facilitated by Farah Halim (YES ’17) and YES ’18: Shaun Yeoh and Kieran Siek and covered the basics of photography and videography, such as exposure, composition, sound, and editing. The goal was to teach skills that participants can use to document YES alumni events and other activities at their schools or workplaces. After the training, participants were split into three groups to practice shooting their own photos and videos. Their practice assignment was to record a short video about the upcoming Malaysia Independence Day celebrations. As follow on assignment, participants are expected to photograph or create a video for at least one YES alumni event they attend within a year of the workshop.
At exactly 10:00 a.m. on August 5, groups of alumni gathered in Banja Luka, Mostar, Sarajevo, and Tuzla in Bosnia and Herzegovina for breakfast to celebrate Exchange Day. Exchange Day, launched by the Alliance for International Exchange in 2014, celebrates and raises awareness of international and cultural exchange. In total, 19 alumni and three YES staff members participated in these gatherings, where they discussed past projects and ideas for the future.
Guadaluna Chaer (YES ’14) and two teammates participated in the Agrytech Hackathon in Beirut, Lebanon. The Agrytech Hackathon invites participants to submit agri-food business ideas to promote sustainable agricultural solutions. One of 22 teams that competed in the hackathon, Guadaluna's team pitched an idea to use laser technology for weed extermination instead of harmful chemicals and repellants. Guadaluna’s team won the first-place prize of $6,000, which they will use to continue developing their project. Learn more!
Voice of Peace
In partnership with volunteers from Youth for Peace International, 40 alumni in Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Delhi, Indore, and Kolkata, India facilitated peacebuilding workshops for youths ages 14 to 16 throughout the month of August. The workshops engaged approximately 750 students in discussions and interactive sessions on core peacebuilding concepts such as empathy, respect, conflict transformation, youths as peace advocates, community engagement, and global citizenship. Participants learned the importance of active listening and empathy in conflict resolution and put them into practice during role play activities. The alumni shared the power of intercultural understanding and friendship they gained from their own U.S. exchange experience and the importance of volunteerism. After the workshops, alumni and participants conducted local community service activities such as tree planting and street cleanups.
Paper Bag Project
In August, Cameroon alumni Lyne Chezem Tekobou (YES ’15) and Kenneth Awa Fru (YES ’16) implemented the Paper Bag Project, in which they taught 21 youths between the ages of 16 and 22 how to produce paper bags from plantain trees. The goal of the project is to help their community replace plastic bags that are harmful to the environment and to reduce waste. After the workshop, Kenneth posted about the plantain bags on social media, which caught the eye of a national television program called The View. The View invited the alumni to talk about the Paper Bag Project on the program next month.