Youth Exchange and Study (YES) alumni all across the globe continue efforts to improve their communities and their countries. From leading educational workshops to building public clinics, there is nothing our alumni can’t do when they join together on a project.
YES alumni in Nigeria constantly put this way of thinking into practice. As one of their latest projects, 11 YES alumni and one non-alumni member came together to clean the Gombe State Library in Anguwan Idi, Gombe, Gombe State.
Alumni involved in the project were Ishaku Abner (YES alumnus, IRIS, Coon Rapids, IA, 2009-2010), Daniel Ishaya (YES alumnus, IRIS, Grundy Center, IA, 2009-2010), Joseph Maicibi (YES alumnus, AYUSA, Greely, CO, 2011-2012), Esther Ibrahim (YES alumna, ASSE, Temperance, MI, 2013-2014), Musa Fatika (YES alumnus, ACES, Sioux Falls, SD, 2013-2014), Christiana Panda (YES alumna, ASF, Westmont, IL, 2014-2015), Esther Isah Bila (YES alumna, IRIS, Hills, IA, 2014-2015), Joy Alewa (YES alumna, AYUSA, Buckley, WA, 2015-2016), Becky Peter Uba (YES alumna, American Councils for International Education, Kaneohe, HI, 2016-2017), Zeekabra Wanda (YES alumnus, ACES, Moline, IL, 2016-2017), and Jenifer Jacob (YES alumna, AYA/AIFS, Payette, ID, 2016-2017).
The non-alumni member who participated in the clean up project was Iliya Isah Bila, Esther’s brother.
The group washed and dusted desks, moved furniture and tidied up an office within the library. This activity not only provided the YES alumni with a volunteer opportunity, but also gave the community a clean library for them to use.
The only funds required were the transport fares of the volunteers. Most of the alumni who volunteered live in the state capital so the transport funds needed came from donations by alumni.
Musa Fatika, the alumnus who wrote up the project report, said this group has been involved in a wide range of projects in their community. From orphanage visits to school talks to well digging, the alumni discuss projects they find interesting at their monthly meetings. The library clean up was no different.
“The project idea was suggested by one of our alumni during one of our meetings in August,” Fatika said. “We normally meet to discuss future projects we would like to embark on.”
Fatika mentioned the groups future plans and projects, and it seems the alumni group has a lot of ideas to keep its members busy.
“My YES group and I have planned many future projects,” Fatika said. “They include a clothes, books, and textbooks drive for the less privileged; a visit to the prison and remand home in our locality; clean ups; providing help for flood victims in Benue, and we’re also planning a school competition in science and arts.”
Thank you to all our alumni who actively engage in their community and continue to be model YES Ambassadors!