In April and May, YES alumni around the world were busy with many activities - from Global Youth Service Day to Ramadan to even meeting presidents!
Rebecca Meets Liberia’s President
As president of the Bomi County Liberia National Student Union, Rebecca David (YES ’18) led a group of 500 students to the Liberian President George Oppong Weah’s foreign affairs office in May to show appreciation after he paid the national exam fees for all ninth and twelfth grade students. At the event, Rebecca expressed her gratitude to President Weah and his cabinet for their generous gesture. President Weah addressed the 500 students in attendance to thank them for their appreciation and encourage them to work hard for the improvement of their country and families. (Photos above and below feature Rebecca and President Weah.)
Sharing Food, Spreading Love
Throughout the month of Ramadan, alumni in Nigeria prepared and distributed iftar dinners to over 400 underprivileged people in Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Gombe, Kaduna, Katsina, Taraba. The goal of this annual project is to spread love by sharing food with people who cannot afford it. This year, alumni focused their distribution to orphanages and camps for the internally displaced. The alumni funded this project through a social media fundraising campaign on Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. As a result of their campaign, they raised nearly $200, which they supplemented with their own funds to purchase the food donations.
For GYSD, alumni in Kenya #StoppingThePeriodOfShame, which is a movement aimed at eliminating shame over the natural process of menstruation. The alumni visited Dagoretti Rehabilitation Center, a juvenile justice center for girls in Nairobi. They distributed reusable sanitary supplies, spoke with the girls about menstrual hygiene, taught them how to use the reusable pads, and held a Q&A session.
Observing Presidential Elections
In April, eight alumni served as certified translators for international observers of the North Macedonia’s presidential elections. Each alumna/us was assigned to two observers from the Danish NGO Silba, an organization that focuses on dialogue and democracy. Each team visited up to ten polling stations.
Hiking with Children with Disabilities
Zain Shehadeh (YES ’14) and Osama Mbaydeen (YES ’11) assisted with an annual hiking event in Jordan with Bahja, a Jordanian initiative created to promote diversity and coexistence by integrating children with disabilities into society through inclusive activities. The daylong hike, held at the Scandinavian Forest in Jerash, engaged 25 children with speech disorders, walking disabilities, autism, and Down syndrome. Zain and Osama also promoted the YES program to the children and their parents and encouraged the children to pursue their academic goals.