YES Programs



Tunisia Storytelling and Proposal Writing Workshop

Group of YES alumni in front of the YES program banner

On Thursday, June 20th, Amideast/HQ YES Program Officer Amber Spalek led a series of dynamic workshops for YES alumni in Tunis. The sessions were focused on essential skills such as project management, problem-solving, grant proposal writing, and storytelling.

Four alumni sitting at a table

To start, alumni participated in a "Human Library" activity. In this activity, alumni acted as “books” and shared their stories on topics such as mental health, relationships with parents, leadership experiences, and unconventional career paths. This icebreaker fostered open and meaningful conversations among the participants.

The alumni then participated in a workshop on sharing their YES stories. Alumni reflected on the highlights from their exchange experiences and their personal and professional growth. They also learned key tips for dynamic and powerful storytelling, and the different ways they can share their YES story. This session aimed to enhance their storytelling skills, ensuring their stories would resonate with a broader audience.

Next was a brainstorming session, which was particularly fruitful with alumni generating various initiatives and project ideas. The alumni were particularly interested in addressing the issue of centralization in the capital, Tunis. Alumni discussed strategies to ensure that opportunities and resources are more evenly distributed across the country, aiming to benefit communities outside the capital as well. They also learned best practices for proposal writing and practiced writing mock funding proposals.

Amber speaking in front a powerpoint that reads basic elements of a story

The alumni event ended on an incredible and fun note, with a locally based Tunisian band that performs Amazighi music playing at the closing ceremony. Through this performance, YES alumni learned about and experienced the culture of the indigenous Amazigh people in Tunisia. The ambiance of dancing, singing, and community filled the room for an amazing closeout!

The workshops presented an incredible opportunity for alumni to network, strengthen community bonds, and brainstorm innovative project ideas. Twenty YES alumni from all over Tunisia participated, engaging actively in the sessions. Alumni from different cohorts mingled and networked, fostering a sense of unity and mutual respect.

Overall, the workshops in Tunis were highly successful, providing YES alumni with valuable skills, strengthening networks, and inspiring alumni to implement their new knowledge in their communities.