YES Programs



The Value of Volunteering

Omer And A Colleague During Er Duty

This article was originally shared by AMIDEAST.

Volunteering is an important aspect of the YES Program, and it becomes a lifelong value that our students take back to their home countries as alumni. YES alumnus Omer Al-Materi (YES 2011–2012, Yemen, hosted by CIEE in Medford, OR) is an example of this commitment to community service. Like other countries around the globe, Yemen is also facing the struggle against COVID-19, and during his final year of medical school at Aden University, Omer is volunteering at the emergency department at Al-Amal Hospital.

Omer With His Yes Host Parents During Their Sons Wedding

The conditions at the hospital present several major challenges including a lack of necessary equipment such as beds, and ventilators. Due to the grim reality, Omer’s family was worried about his safety, but they came to understand the importance of his work. Omer shared, “My participation in the YES Program in the United States taught me the meaning of volunteering, and since then I have dedicated a lot of my time to volunteering, both in my chosen specialty (medicine) and, more generally, in charity.”

Read more about Omer's use of his medical skills in community service here!