YES alumni kicked off summer with many activities focused on youth development. Here are just a few!
Promoting Healthy Lifestyles
On June 8, alumni (pictured above) visited two orphanages in Nickerie, Suriname. The alumni facilitated activities and lessons to promote healthy lifestyles for 67 youths between the ages of four and 19. To accommodate the diverse age range of participants, the youths were split into two groups. The alumni led the younger children in crafts and games that featured aspects of a healthy lifestyle. For the older participants, the alumni led activities about mental health awareness and healthy eating habits.
Children's Day Celebration
On June 1, six YES alumni and 20 non-alumni volunteers celebrated Children’s Day in Albania by supporting local food and farmers with a celebration in the Tirana city square. The alumni and volunteers taught community members about organic and locally sourced food, as well as how diet impacts health. They helped children plant seeds, make fresh pasta, and create jewelry out of fruit. The event drew approximately 1,000 visitors, including the mayor of Tirana.
YES, You Are Yala Changemakers
From June 29 to 30, eight YES alumni and 18 other volunteers organized YES, You Are Yala Changemakers, a youth engagement workshop in Yala province, Thailand. The project team equipped 60 students from the Association of Children and Youth for Peace in the Southernmost Provinces of Thailand (Lukrieng Group) with community development tools and skills. Throughout the two-day program, the staff promoted education as a pathway to resilient communities and helped youth brainstorm ideas on how they can plan and implement community development initiatives while still maintaining their local culture and identity. The Lukrieng Group aims to end the cycle of violence in southern Thailand by empowering young victims of political violence to become advocates for peace.
Engaging ACCESS Students
Throughout the month of June and into July, YES alumni in Lebanon facilitated interactive ACCESS class visits in several regions of the country. During these sessions, the alumni shared their American experience with 70 ACCESS students and played games with them along the theme of diversity.
Supporting the Tumaini Orphanage
Denis Chove (YES ’18), in collaboration with ten other volunteers, visited the Tumaini Orphanage in Ihumwa, Dodoma, Nigeria. The center provides shelter to over 50 homeless children between the ages of two and 12. Denis and his group donated much needed supplies to the orphanage, which were purchased with funds collected from community members. The donations included cooking oil, laundry detergent, school supplies, and bottled water. During their visit, they helped the children with their homework, played games, and spoke with the older children about the value of education and being active, productive members of their community.