In January, YES alumni were involved in a variety of grassroots projects - from caring for shelter animals to interfaith dialogue. Read on for January's Featured Five projects!
Peer2Peer Facebook Global Digital Challenge: #IslamNotPhobia
Aniyyah Fatmah A. Guinar (YES ’17) and five colleagues on Team Pakigsandurot from Mindanao State University Iligan Institute of Technology in the Philippines won third place among 60 competing teams from around the world at the Peer2Peer Facebook Global Digital Challenge, held at George Washington University. The team was awarded $1000 in funding. The Digital Challenge was sponsored by EdVentures Partners, in partnership with Facebook, and engaged university students to create social media campaigns and offline strategies that challenge hateful and extremist narratives. Team Pakigsandurot entered #IslamNotPhobia, a campaign to counter prejudice and hate speech towards Muslims. The campaign used online photo and video competitions and two offline initiatives: Hijab for a Day, where six non-Muslim volunteers wore an Islamic head covering for one day, and Hugging Experiment, where two Muslim and two non-Muslim volunteers wore placards in public places around the community to test the impact of religious differences on social engagement.
Animal Shelter Visit in Bahrain
YES ’17: Ali Albahrani and Batool Alkamel, Reem Muraikhi (YES ’12), and Nayla Salem (YES ’14) visited Tony the Dogfather, a local animal shelter in Manama. The alumni volunteered to walk and bathe the dogs and play with the cats. The alumni are currently working on a fundraising campaign to donate much needed resources and supplies to the shelter.
Supporting HIV and AIDS Patients in Nigeria
Eleven alumni and six 2019-2020 YES finalists volunteered at a local hospital by visiting patients infected with HIV and AIDS. The goal of the visit was to support patients and their families, who are often stigmatized by the community. There are many misconceptions about how the viruses can be transmitted, so most people in the community avoid interaction with infected people. During their visit, alumni reassured patients that there are people in the community who support them and that they are working hard to educate others about the diseases. The alumni also donated food and cleaning supplies to the patients.
Promoting Voter Registration in Senegal
Alumni Coordinator Aita Diakhate (YES ’11), Mamady Diaoune (YES ’15), and Fatou Bintou Sylla (YES ’17) worked with two local youth associations and the U.S. government-sponsored exchange program alumni association to promote voter registration. Ten alumni and five non-alumni volunteers traveled to three areas of Kaolack, where they encouraged community members to vote and distributed informational flyers, reaching more than 400 citizens. This event was part of a nationwide, non-partisan advocacy campaign called "Sama Carte-Sama Kaddu,” which aims to encourage citizens to vote in upcoming elections.
Miles of Smiles in Pakistan
Ten YES alumni held Miles of Smiles projects for disadvantaged youths in Lahore, Islamabad, and Kohat throughout the month of January. Alumni led more than 200 youths between the ages of ten and 15 in activities such as soccer, badminton, cricket, face painting, and art projects. The objective of Miles of Smiles is to bring enjoyment to children who live in harsh conditions and lack access to fun activities.