In honor of Global Youth Service Day during the holy month of Ramadan, the YES Alumni Board in Jordan held a special Iftar (meal at sundown to break the daily fast) for 25 children receiving treatment for cancer and their caregivers at the Royal Village Park of Zarqa. The event was a few hours of fun and activities for the kids and YES alumni, and it was organized in collaboration with a charitable organization called Nasmet Hayat.
YES alumna Zain Shehadeh fundraised for this event to provide food, beverages, toys, and candy. Each child received a gift bag with a set of colored pencils, a coloring book, and a puzzle. YES alumnus Osama Daoud brought the soft drinks and water to Zarqa.
To make the journey to the event in Zarqa, the 12 YES alumni volunteers met up first in Amman and brought extra friends to volunteer. Once they arrived at the Royal Village Park, the alumni and their friends introduced themselves to the kids, giving them and their guardians information about the YES program.
While everyone was waiting to break their fast, alumni played games with the children and did face painting, along with Iftar meal preparations.
After Iftar, YES alumnus Mohammad Al-Mahasees played the oud, a traditional Middle Eastern stringed instrument, and people jumped in to sing along. After the music, the alumni hosted trivia games, musical chairs, craft stations, and an accessory station. The children and their caregivers had a lot of activities to choose from that night!
And it made a big impact on the YES alumni as well. As Shadan Alekedat said, "This was a lovely day!! I’m looking forward to more events like this where we spread love and happiness!" Motasem Al Ali added, "Eating, dancing, and singing with these children was on another level of happiness today. I am proud of our alumni family.”
We are proud of you, too, Jordan YES alumni!
A non-YES volunteer who participate that night, Sandra Manotas, agrees. From her perspective, "This was a beautiful night for [the kids] and for us. I have beautiful ideas for future activities, and I will be more than happy to help YES alumni whenever. Please count me in for future projects!"
YES Alumni Organizer Zain chimed in as well: “Events like this one truly warm my heart. Seeing the joy that our alumni family can give to our community reminds me of how much great potential we have within the alumni. We as the Alumni Board of 2021-2022 knew we wanted to do something big that hasn’t been done before as our closing project. And we are so thankful to have been able to do this as a fun distraction to the cancer patient kids during their courageous and difficult battle against their diseases.”
Zain Shehadeh (YES 2013–2014, Jordan, placed by AFS in Shenandoah, IA)
Osama Daoud (YES 2018-2019, Jordan, placed by AFS in Blue Springs, MO)
Mohammad Al-Mahases (YES 2012-2013, Jordan, placed by Ayusa in McKinney, TX)
Shadan Alekedat (YES 2018-2019, Jordan, placed by Ayusa in Mesa, AZ)
Motasem Al-Ali (YES 2020-2021, Jordan, virtually placed by Ayusa)