YES Programs



Sharing with Others

A group of four YES alumni sitting in a car with masks on

The month of Ramadan traditionally begins with a new moon sighting and the start of the ninth month in the Islamic calendar. This year, Ramadan began on Monday, April 12, and will continue until approximately Tuesday, May 11, depending on the moon sighting. During Ramadan, Muslims do not eat or drink between dawn and sunset — this is called fasting. For Muslims, Ramadan is a holy month where they devote their time, effort, and resources to prayer, charity, and family reunions.

In early April, the YES Alumni Steering Committee in the West Bank decided that the best project to do during Ramadan would be to help people in need. So the YES Alumni Network partnered with the alumni of the English Access Microscholarship (Access) Program to organize a donation drive for families in need around the West Bank. 

YES alumna putting food donations into a cardboard box

The project was held in three cities: Ramallah, Hebron, and Nablus. Seven YES alumni and 18 Access alumni participated in the donation drive. In each city, members of the Steering Committee supervised the YES and Access volunteers who collected, packaged, and distributed food baskets to families in need. From April 10–12, the YES Alumni Coordinator, Nofouz Maswada, and the Access Alumni Coordinator, Tamara Alquobaj, held Zoom meetings with the volunteers to explain the project plan, assign tasks, and discuss fundraising strategies.

Then, from April 18–30, the alumni assembled 75 food baskets for families living in the West Bank. Each basket contained over 15 different items, including rice, cooking oil, flour, sugar, salt, dates, canned foods, ground coffee, and tea. The project will continue throughout Ramadan, as the alumni are excited to help more families after their initial success. YES alumna Tuleen Jarwan shares, “Ramadan can't be truly experienced without seeing the smiles of others and hearing their prayers. It’s not only about fasting; it's also about sharing and feeling with others.”

Read about another Ramadan project held by the YES alumni in the West Bank here.

Asha Atabeh (YES 2016–2017, West Bank, placed with ASSE in Eugene, OR)

Hannen Takhman (YES 2016–2017, West Bank, placed with YFU USA in Twin Lake, MI)

Tuleen Jarwan (YES 2016–2017, West Bank, placed with FLAG in Kalamazoo, MI)

Nofouz Maswada (YES 2016–2017, West Bank, placed with AFS in Portland, OR)

Nidal Mataweh (YES 2017–2018, West Bank, placed with YFU USA in Charleston, WV)