This Thanksgiving, the YES program is thankful for its incredible alumni! How are they so incredible? Read on to find out a few of the ways they've benefited their communities this month.
In October, YES ’15: Amira Yaring and Athisha Ma-ar and YES ’17: Alawee Wamae and Kafeela Madaka organized Kidspiration, a project to support orphans in Ongkharak, Thailand. The event was organized in collaboration with the Muslim Club of Thammasat University, of which the alumni are members. This one-day event provided entertainment and inspiration to 40 young orphans at the Ansor Foundation. The alumni and 60 other volunteers and staff led games and other activities for the children and distributed donated school supplies, books, and clothing. (Photo above)
Independence Day Cleanups
Nafisa Bala (YES ’09) recently joined a team of volunteers to clean her community in Kaduna, Nigeria. Organized by African Clean Up Initiative, an organization that educates people on environmental responsibility, the project was one of 59 community cleanup events carried out across the nation to commemorate Nigeria’s 59th anniversary. The cleanup in Kaduna took place along Poly Road in the Tudun Wada area, where volunteers cleaned and cleared dirt-filled drainage ditches to facilitate the passage of water and reduce the risk of flooding. They also sensitized community members, especially those with roadside businesses, on the importance of maintaining a clean environment and how sanitation can help prevent the spread of communicable diseases like cholera. The Kaduna State Environmental Protection Authority supported the activity by providing tools, including shovels, rakes, waste bags, and a garbage truck.
Panajota Gushkova (YES ’16) worked with local NGO Site Siti and Roma Association Avena to organize a food drive in her hometown of Kochani, North Macedonia. Panajota created a donation stand, advertised the event, and gathered community members, who donated 80 kilograms of non-perishable items such as flour, pasta, crackers, and canned goods. These items were combined into packages and distributed to six families in need.
YES to Sports
To promote the YES program while having a little fun, YES ’18: Mohammad Abuajwa and Karam Qaoud and YES ’19: Yasmeen Aburamadan, Ghaith Rayes, Ibrahim Elkerem, and Salim Alwazeer conducted a sports day for 33 sixth-grade students at the American International School in Gaza City. First, Karam spoke to the students about the YES program and his experience in the United States. Afterwards, the alumni introduced them to popular U.S. sports. Students ran a track and field race, played basketball and American football, and learned about swimming and high school sports teams.
Save the Sea
In Karachi, Pakistan, alumni organized the Save the Sea Beach Cleanup to raise awareness about pollution and encouraging community members to properly dispose of their trash instead of littering. Alumni held the cleanup on a public beach to engage community members in helping to collect garbage. The alumni and volunteers filled a total of 12 bags of trash.