Photo: YESDP participant Avadoo Sarah Iortsor with participants at her April 6th event leading up to the workshop.
April 6th marked the International Day of Sports for Development and Peace! YES students and alumni know well how sports can build personal skills, bring communities together, and create opportunities for growth in numerous ways.
This year, April 6th was an extra special day for YES alumni who are on their way to Kuwait for the first ever YES alumni workshop focused on Sports for Development and Peace - the YESDP workshop! 30 alumni from 18 program countries have been busily preparing for this event by completing pre-workshop assignments and participating in April 6th events.
For instance, Harris Sulaiman (YES 2014 - 2015, Philippines, hosted by PAX in Anchorage, AK) prepared a psycho-social event for kids, incorporating local sports and games! And Mohamed Zaqout (YES 2010 - 2011, Gaza, hosted by Ayusa in Laveen, AZ) engaged with his fellow alumni to organize the first ever US Government Alumni network sports tournament! The tournament included a charity component to raise funds for disadvantaged children in Gaza on top of the team building opportunities for alumni from various programs, including YES and the English Access Microscholarship program.
Avadoo Sarah Iorstor (YES 2012 - 2013, Nigeria, hosted by YFU in Lexington Park, MD) held a very special project at her former school. She explains:
"Back in the days, my school was known to be the best female soccer and basketball team in a regional and national level. Fast forward to a few years we have declined and can't compete with the neighboring schools. I went back to my Alma mater to basically encouraged them to indulge themselves in sports. I also organized a soccer match between the senior and junior students. There's a gap between the seniors and juniors so it took me a bit of coercing to get them to play together. Since there was a decline in sportsmanship, getting Jerseys and the football gear for them to play was difficult. There was not enough to go round. At the end we all had fun, it was a successful day."
We hope you also had a fruitful April 6th! Stay tuned for more news from the YESDP workshop, taking place in Kuwait from April 8 - 11.