By Mehdi Belhaj (YES 2015-2016, Tunisia, hosted by ASSE in Spokane, WA)
Hello, YES family! After organizing the first World Leaders Initiative (WL) for Global Youth Service Day in 2019, we held the second edition in April with YES Alumni Grant funding. The goal of the project was to provide students with the right tools to help them become global citizens. Two fellow YES alumni, Siwar Kamkoum and Ilyed Hamadi, alongside two other friends, Nejmeddine Aloui and Ala Loueti, helped to make it a meaningful project. During that day, we held three different workshops: Education, Soft Skills and Leadership, and Social Entrepreneurship. With the help of our partner, the Walah We Can organization, we confirmed the need for these workshops in an underprivileged area of Tunisia. On April 2, WL was held for middle school students in Makthar.
The Education Workshop focused on different career fields and the types of opportunities available in each sector. The Soft Skills and Leadership Workshop emphasized the importance of volunteering and community service. We also gave suggestions on how to give back to the community, like starting a club. They also received practical knowledge that helped them acquire the specific techniques to become a leader. Finally, the Social Entrepreneurship Workshop discussed social entrepreneurship as an alternative instrument for solving social problems and addressing community needs. This workshop gave the students the technical skills they need to start their own social entrepreneurship project and make a positive impact in the community.
We believe in the power of community service and how it can affect someone’s life in a positive way. We are interested in undertaking any project that can benefit our community and country. We decided to undertake this specific project because we want to invest in children and their education. We strongly believe that between ages 11 – 15, children experience a critical phase in their life since they have to make a decision about what field they want to study later in high school, which can affect their decision on universities later on, and then their professional careers. That’s why we are here to provide this guidance during this important time in their lives as young students.
Siwar Kamkoum (YES 2012-2013, Tunisia, hosted by YFU in Minnetonka, MN)
Iyed Hamadi (YES 2012-2013, Tunisia, hosted by AFS in Fulton, MD)