YES Programs



Six Alumni Acts of Service to Close Out the Year

Liberia Dec Body Positivity

Out of hundreds of great projects that YES alumni have implemented throughout 2023, below are a handful of notable initiatives held as one year came to a close and a new year began.

Liberia Dec Body Positivity 2

Since August, Sona Sessay ’11 has been leading a series of menstrual hygiene and women’s empowerment workshops in Monrovia, Liberia. In November, she implemented the third workshop for 80 participants, ages 13 to 25, with the support of three fellow alumni and 12 volunteers. Then in December, Sona and 12 volunteers organized the final workshop, which trained 98 additional young women. The events featured presenters who discussed topics ranging from bodily awareness to sexual and reproductive health. Photos above and left

Pakistan Dec Christmas

Throughout December, 16 alumni from Pakistan spread Christmas joy to 390 underprivileged children, ages five to 16, at an underserved school and at churches in Karachi, Peshawar, and Rawalpindi. Alumni dressed in Christmas-themed costumes and distributed gifts of toys. The project aimed to promote kindness and inclusivity, foster a sense of community, and ensure that every child, regardless of their religion or background, felt valued and cherished during Christmas. Photo right

In December, four alumni organized Bayanihan2023, a community outreach program Palawan, Philippines in collaboration with local and national government agencies, including the National Police, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Bureau of Fire Protection, and the municipal offices of Health, Civil Registry, Social Welfare Development, and Agriculture. Over 460 citizens had the opportunity to meet and receive essential services from 66 agency personnel, who staffed booths with interactive games, information, and resources. Event attendees included members of marginalized communities, who generally have minimal or sometimes negative interactions with government agencies. The event aimed to foster unity, compassion, and social responsibility by providing civic and government organizations and community members the opportunity to connect in a friendly and enjoyable atmosphere. Photos below

Lebanon Dec Upcycling

In Beirut, Lebanon, two alumnae organized a December upcycling workshop facilitated by fashion designer Safaa Al Bardani. Through the workshop, 13 alumni learned to classify fabric, sew, mix color, and upcycle clothing, transforming worn out pieces into newly functional and stylish items. The donated clothing benefitted 100 children at the Shatila Refugee Camp. Photo left

Daniel Laiser ’10 and a team of 12 volunteers mobilized efforts to provide water to the residents of Elangata, Tanzania. They distributed drums of water while educating community members on the importance of using clean, potable water for cooking and drinking to prevent communicable diseases. The volunteers aim to help the village drill a well through subsequent projects. Photo below

Tanzania Nov Elangata Water

In Mombasa, Kenya, nine alumni organized a workshop for 38 fellow alumni in December. The workshop, which was framed around U.N. Sustainable Development Goal #13: climate action, provided alumni with a forum to discuss the impact of climate change on local communities and develop skills and tools to implement and collaborate on community projects. In small groups, participants engaged in community mapping exercises and developed project ideas. The workshop also featured a dinner celebrating the YES program’s 20th anniversary with 15 special guests, including AFS-USA President Tara Hofmann and staff from the Ministry of Education. Photo below

Kenya Climate and 20th Anni Group