YES Programs



Beats for Peace

Mahir holding a microphone and speaking at the front of a stage full of audience in an auditorium.

By Mahir Ibrahim (YES 2021-2022, Philippines, placed by World Link in Colorado Springs, CO)

I was 12 years old when I and thousands of Meranao in the Philippines fled our home to seek refuge when an extremist group attacked our city. I’m 17 now, and that devastating experience inspired me to organize a Global Youth Service Day project in my host community – a community concert to assist Ukrainian children. 

A large audience at Mahir's community concert

Honestly, it was not that hard, because I had so many beautiful people who volunteered to help make the event possible. I got the community involved and there were at least 20 artists who performed at the concert. I was also able to get the venue for free and I decided to make the concert free admission so that anyone who wanted to attend would be able to come and support our call for peace. We raised enough money to provide more than 150 blankets to Ukrainian children through the Save the Children organization.

The Marawi siege in the Philippines left a mark in our hearts that will never fade, gave us our nightmares, and made us even stronger. I felt super ecstatic after the success of the event, for I realized that there are still people who are upholding the concept of humanity. 

Students hug each other, the student in the middle has a Ukrainian flag wrapped around her

If the mother earth needs to breathe because of all the unethical things we've done to it, we also need to breathe for all the inhumane practices we do to each other. Let’s all become a catalyst of an equitable society for everyone and an instrument of good will towards each other. Let’s work to end war. Kalilintad (tranquility) is what we need, and we must open our soul to realize it.