Since Tamba Abdulai (YES 2013-2014, Sierra Leone, hosted by Ayusa in Greeley, CO) returned from the YES program, he has transitioned from an outstanding YES student into a phenomenal YES alumnus, becoming a change maker in his community and leaving a positive impact on a number of youth. Shortly after he arrived back home in Sierra Leone, he founded the Tamba Abdulai Foundation to provide scholarships, school uniforms, and school supplies to marginalized students. In addition to providing supplies, Tamba also works tirelessly to spread awareness about the value of education to community leaders and parents in Sierra Leone. Tamba believes that by sharing the benefits and importance of education, he can change the perception about girl's education. Earlier this year, Tamba received a YES Alumni Grant to support the work he does with the Tamba Abdulai Foundation.
In 2017, Tamba met another U.S. State Department alumnus, Michael Adamson. Michael, who was a recipient of a National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) scholarship met Tamba at the International Education and Resource Network Conference. Tamba and Michael hit it off immediately, and found that in addition to both being U.S. State Department alumni, they had something else in common – a passion for grassroots action and gender equality. Since their initial meeting, Michael has worked in his home state of Kansas to fundraise for the Tamba Abdulai Foundation and support gender equality initiatives in Sierra Leone.
In November 2018, Michael and Tamba were invited to be guest speakers on a webinar that focused on the United National Sustainable Development Goal #5 - Gender Equality and the importance of global collaboration and education. The two discussed the initiative of the Tamba Abdulai Foundation, and the power and impact of global collaboration.
Tamba said, "It was really great honor to be one of the guest speakers to talk on what I do through the Tamba Abdulai Foundation and met many other people. I am hoping for more of this in the future."
Tamba also gave an update on the work he has done in the past month.
"Since the webinar, I have conducted an additional four mentorship workshops on gender equality training for parents and school girls from around 18 communities. Those workshops were aimed to enlightened parents on the right of women in the society, especially in education, stopping gender based violence, ending early marriage, and supporting girls' access quality education."
To learn more about Tamba's work in Sierra Leone, check out this YES alumni spotlight from November 2017. If you're curious to watch the webinar Tamba spoke at, you can view it here.