YES Programs



Ramadan Charity in the West Bank

YES alumnus Ahmmed stands in front of the open trunk of a car

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting (sawm), prayer, reflection, and community service. This year, Ramadan began on Saturday, April 2. Starting then, Muslims fasted from food and drink from dawn to sunset until the final celebration (Eid) on May 2. For Muslims, Ramadan is a holy month for praying, charity, and reuniting with friends and family.

To acknowledge and amplify the Ramadan spirit, West Bank YES Alumni Steering Committee member Ahmed Rayyan conducted a donation drive to provide food-baskets for families around the West Bank. The project was held in Hebron on April 24. 

Donations for the Ramadan donation drive in the back of a car

Ahmed raised nearly $800 from individual donors and a community organization called the Food Merchants Syndicate. He used the funds to buy food and clothes and prepare them in baskets. There were enough supplies to support twenty families in need in and around the city of Hebron. 

Each basket of donations contained a variety of items including basic food supplies like flour, bread, olive oil, rice, milk, and tuna. The clothing Ahmed added included a shirt, pants, and shoes for each child in the family. The families provided Ahmed with sizing in advance to make sure everything would fit. 

Several boxes on the ground

To identify and liaise with the families, Ahmed had support from a local organization called Sawaed, which was able to connect him with many families in hard to reach areas. 

Ahmed shares: “All kids have the right to celebrate Ramadan and Eid. The joy of Ramadan for me this year was not felt until I saw these kids excited and happy when they received their new clothes.”

Ramadan Mubarak to everyone as the holy months draws to a close!

Ahmed Rayyan (YES 2018-2019, West Bank, placed by AFS in Lyons, CO)

See how other Palestinian YES alumni are volunteering during Ramadan in Gaza in this recent story!