YES Programs



Workshop Helps Alumni Reach Their Goals

Monique in front of room presenting to an audience with screen behind her

By Monique Jafta (YES 2013-2014, South Africa, placed by AFS-USA in Kendallville, IN)

This is the first time as a YES alumna that I have organized and presented a YES alumni workshop of my own. I was inspired to create this workshop back in 2018, after I attended the YES Alumni Training of Trainers Workshop in Cairo, Egypt. It was at this workshop where I identified lack of volunteerism in my community as one of the problems I wanted to address. I finally put my idea into action and planned the “Find your Purpose: Volunteerism and Entrepreneurship” workshop for YES alumni and others interested in volunteerism.

One of the workshop highlights included reviewing the MBTI personality test with attendees. My goal with this activity was to help participants gain a better awareness of their individual strengths so they could then use those strengths to create a volunteer activity or even a business idea.

Workshop participants seated at desks filling out a personality test

The high unemployment rate in South Africa has been an increasing concern in our country which is why entrepreneurship is very important so that we can hopefully create more jobs. This led to the second part of the workshop which was hosted by Adam Baatjes, MBA and AFS Board member. He guided participants through identifying characteristics and skills of entrepreneurs and provided participants with important tools to help drive productivity and competitiveness when getting a product into the market.

We were also privileged to have Cheslin Denman (Co-Founder and Managing director of Trustlink.Africa hub, Forbes Africa 30 under 30 class of 2023, Founder & Managing director of Know No Limits) join us online as a guest speaker. Cheslin provided the audience with a background on his journey to becoming an entrepreneur and what it took to get there.

A man stands at the front of a room presenting a powerpoint

I am extremely excited to see what activities and initiatives participants will create in the months and years to come! I think it is of vital importance that the YES alumni in South Africa start working on more projects to develop our communities so that we can create a better world for everyone. I was nervous about creating this workshop and did not think it was something I would be able to do. However, after going through the process and with the assistance from the AFS office, it turned out to be a great success and is something I look forward to doing again.

I would like to leave you with a quote that has really inspired me throughout my life: “Start by doing what is necessary, then what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” -- St Francis of Assisi