YES alumni celebrated Ramadan with service and camaraderie. Here are five of the many Ramadan events that alumni took part in around the world.
1) During the holy month of Ramadan, seventy YES alumni from Lebanon reunited in Chouf for a special meal during Ramadan, and they used the occasion to network within the YES alumni network. In addition to breaking fast together, the alumni held a career guidance session where the more senior alumni who are already excelling in their professional careers mentored younger alumni that are still in university or are about to enter the workforce. Talk about alumni helping alumni!
2) In the Philippines this Ramadan, YES alumni organized an iftar in Marawi City for evacuees of the 2017 Marawi Siege. Many evacuees have been living in a tent city for nearly a year. It is a Ramadan tradition for Muslims to join together as a community and provide free food to those in need so they can break their fast. With the assistance of the U.S. Embassy, the alumni successfully gathered just over 2000 attendees to whom they were able to provide a special meal for the night. Hats off to the generous and hard work of YES alumni in the Philippines.
3) Eight YES alumni in Bamako, Mali organized Operation Ramadan, a project that collects and distributes food to low-income and disadvantaged communities. The alumni collaborated with ten local associations to fund raise and gather enough food for over 1,000 meals. The alumni and other volunteers identified 100 families from disadvantaged neighborhoods to receive bags of rice, millet, sugar, milk, pasta, and oil throughout the month of Ramadan. Additionally, each Saturday during Ramadan, the alumni and other volunteers hosted an iftar for approximately 400 people. Those are some impressive numbers, YES Mali!
4) For this year’s Ramadan festivities Senegal Alumni Coordinator Aita Diakhate (YES ’11) organized a training in Dakar on Leadership and Professional Development for 16 YES alumni from across the country. Through lectures, discussions, and practical exercises, participants learned about leadership attitudes, how to write a resume, how to behave in a job interview, and how to generally conduct themselves in a professional manner. The activity was followed by the alumni community’s annual iftar dinner, in which alumni broke fast together while discussing ideas for future activities. Way to go, future leaders of Senegal!
5) YES alumni in the West Bank had a Ramadan iftar with children from Deir Ammar Refugee Camp in Ramallah. Their hope was to bring happiness and joy to the 35 underprivileged children they visited at the camp. The alumni joined other camp volunteers at the Deir Ammar Community Center, where they played an educational game with the children, who were very excited to play and test their knowledge. The children and the alumni then had iftar together. After iftar, the children played a game of bingo with the alumni. Everyone was a winner at this celebration.