The YES Alumni Grants program offers alumni the opportunity to conduct projects that address local, regional, and national needs and to serve their communities. Alumni grants support community service as well as activities that promote civic participation in areas such as education, entrepreneurship, interfaith and strategic dialogues, conflict resolution, public health, environment, sustainable energy, women’s and girls’ empowerment, promoting the inclusion of persons with disabilities, professional development, or promotion of English language and American culture.
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Need some inspiration for your grant proposal? Check out these projects from the 2019-20 grants cycle.
Asja Alispahic (YES 2017-2018, Bosnia and Herzegovina, placed with AFS-USA in Warren, NJ) received grant funding for TALL (Teamwork. Activism. Leadership. Learning). In collaboration with the Institute for Youth Development (KULT), TALL educated 14 high school students from all over Bosnia and Herzegovina on the skills of teamwork, activism, leadership, active listening, professional development, and project planning. (Opening photo.)
Nendi Lukolm (YES 2005-2006, Nigeria, placed with IRIS in Washington County, IA) organized My Hands Can See, a three-week program that taught family members of 50 blind students how to read and write Braille to help them better relate to, communicate with, and support the pursuit of educational and career opportunities for their visually impaired family member. The program also taught the blind students how to use a typewriter, which helps develop literacy skills and opens up opportunities for them to work as typists and transcribers.
Iraj Tariq (YES 2016-2017, Pakistan, placed with PAX in Buchanan, MI) organized the Special Educators' Training Resource Workshop, a three-day training in Karachi for 50 educators who work with children with disabilities. The educators received advanced training and resources for working with students with disabilities from medical experts and psychologists.
Leah Tesfamariam (YES 2008-2009, Kenya, placed with ACES in Toledo, OH) received an individual professional development grant to partially subsidize course fees for a one-week training on accountability and anti-corruption at the Transparency International School of Integrity in Vilnius, Lithuania.
Djordje Mirkovic (YES 2015-2016, Bosnia and Herzegovina, placed with American Councils for International Education in North Easton, MA) received grant funding for Dog's Helpers. Djordje held a workshop, fundraiser, and volunteer activity with support from the Dogs Trust Representative Office. A representative from Dogs Trust facilitated a workshop for 30 eighth-grade students aimed to develop students’ understanding of stray dogs and how to approach them, as well as inform students of what Dogs Trust does and how to help through volunteering and fostering dogs. Djordje and his team also held a fundraiser the Gladno Polje Dog Shelter.
Emmanuel Godfrey (YES 2015-2016, Liberia, placed with AFS-USA in Cumberland, ME) implemented the project Restoring the Educational Hope #2, a three-day conference for 80 youths in the rural, isolated community of Bopolu. The conference aimed to reinforce the importance of education to a youth population that tends to discontinue their education at an early age to conform to traditional gender roles.
Dennis Kusorgbor (YES 2014-2015, Ghana, placed with PAX in Everett, WA) partnered with Eagles Basketball Academy for a one-week residential basketball and leadership camp in Accra for 42 students ages 12-19. The goal of this camp was to provide participants with a healthy, productive recreational activity and to encourage students' academic success.
Claude Essomba Minlah (YES 2014-2015, Cameroon, placed with PAX in Cordova, Tennessee) focused on Eradicating Poverty with Know-How and Let-Know. The project team collaborated with the Bell'idee group, a women's group aimed at fighting poverty by teaching women to make and sell natural beauty products. Claude and her team trained 96 people, mostly women and youths, to make soap, lotion, and detergent using local, accessible ingredients. The goal was to teach participants skills that will allow them to earn money as well as cut their own spending on these products.
Muhammad Asfandyar (YES 2012-2013, Pakistan, placed with CIEE in Indianapolis, IN) led the “Beyond Academic Skills” Development Program, a three-day workshop for 50 underprivileged students on the themes gender equality, environmental protection, community service, children's rights, active citizenship, teambuilding, and health and personal hygiene. The goal of the workshop was to the fill a gap left by the local education system, which focuses almost solely on academic success, by fostering active citizenship and helping participants develop other personal and professional skills often on the periphery of academics.
Merville Njounkeng Daize (YES 2017-2018, Cameroon, placed with PAX in Bluffton, IN) implemented Restoring Hope To Internally Displaced Youths, an entrepreneurial training program aimed at empowering 40 internally displaced youths between the ages of 13 to 18. Participants were trained to make fish pie and soap with the hope that they can continue to produce and sell these items to earn an income.
Erum Fatima (YES 2014-2015, Pakistan, placed with CIEE in Saint Louis, MO) hosted the Tech Innovation Camp for Girls. The camp prepared 150 female high school students to use technical knowledge of computer programming, web design, and digital marketing to find innovative solutions to community issues. The workshop also taught entrepreneurial skills; students brainstormed business ideas in teams and learned to identify and pitch to possible donors.
Lincoln Ninneh (YES 2013-2014, Liberia, placed with AFS-USA in Nolensville, TN) expanded his Teach for Health Lives (T4HL) initiative with Community Health Promoters. The T4HL team conducted capacity building and awareness activities for 30 youths ages 16 to 30 in order to provide information on diabetes and the skills necessary to train others about diabetes. The project consisted of physical activities, a diabetes screening, and training sessions conducted by experts in the field.
Ljupche Stojanov (YES 2012-2013, North Macedonia, placed with AYA in Kansas City, MO) implemented Grow Equal, a series of sports-oriented activities for 24 children with disabilities in Skopje and Struga, with support from Special Olympics Macedonia. The goals of this project included raising awareness about people with disabilities, reducing stereotypes, and allowing participants to build their networks and skills while improving their health by engaging in physical exercise.
Akhtar Hussain (YES 2014-2015, Pakistan, placed with CIEE in Cleveland, TN) received grant funding to conduct Digital Skills in Action, two three-day digital skills boot camps in Islamabad for 160 underprivileged high school girls. Through the program, students learned the basics of computer science, robotics, and IT. The goal was to encourage the female youths to pursue a future in IT, a sector of the workforce that Pakistan needs more participation in.
Ugur Gonul (YES 2012-2013, Turkey, placed with CIEE in Burkburnett, TX) conducted the project Living in Harmony, a joint Syrian and Turkish-led kitchen that provided meals at a local community center that works with vulnerable women and children, particularly the local population of Syrian refugees. The project also utilized existing sewing machines in the center to provide beneficiaries with means to generate income.
Musa Kabbah (YES 2015-2016, Liberia, placed with YFU in Alpena, MI) was awarded grant funding for Quardu-Gboni Peace and Reconciliation Initiative, a peacebuilding and election transparency initiative in the Quardu-Gboni district of Lofa County with a total of 160 youths and tribal and religious leaders. During the workshops, participants were educated on civic responsibility and the election process, engaged in panel-led discussions, received training to be "peace agents," and participated in a soccer tournament as a unifying tool for peace development.
Shomy Chowdhury (YES 2011-2012, Bangladesh, placed with PAX in Cheboygan, MI) implemented Score Your Goals!. The training of trainers workshop for 50 university students in Malaysia (where Shomy was studying) was on global citizenship and the SDGs. After the workshop, the five participant teams were tasked with disseminating the knowledge they gained to other students at their universities.
Stephane Kamtchuing (YES 2012-2013, Cameroon, placed with AFS-USA in Cleveland, OH) held Fundamentals of Information and Communication Technologies for Effective Teaching, a series of workshops to train 25 high school students on the fundamentals of ICT and 25 teachers on how to use technology in their classrooms. Students were also trained and mentored through the process of starting a technology club to teach IT to their peers.
Marija Andreevska (YES 2017-2018, North Macedonia, placed with AFS-USA in Phoenix, AZ) organized All Inclusive, a series of four art and music workshops for children ages eight to 16 with visual impairments, hearing impairments, and learning disabilities. The participants were divided into four groups of 15 to 18 participants. The work they created — including sculptures, songs, and paintings — were showcased in a public exhibition.
Korvah Fromayan (YES 2015-2016, Liberia, placed with CIEE in West Townshend, VT) held an English workshop for 50 students between the ages of 15 and 18. Workshop for Effective English Teaching and Speaking provided English language and leadership training and aimed to build a talented pool of writers and teachers by introducing participants to creative writing, teaching, reading, public speaking, and test-taking strategies, with a specific focus on helping participants pass the West African Examination Councils English Exam.
Hassani Msanga (YES 2008-2009, Tanzania, hosted by IRIS in Cedar Rapids, IA) received grant funding to implement his project Protecting Girls and Women Against Female Genital Mutilation. Hassani, who is a doctor, led a group of 15 medical doctors, medical students, YES alumni, and community leaders in a campaign to raise awareness on the dangers of female genital mutilation (FGM) with a seminar for 150 high school students and a community awareness campaign.