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YES Alumnus Receives Grant to Teach English in Rural Communities

Simon Zamani (YES ’16) is a recipient of a 2017 IRIS Global Grants & Scholarships program award. His award is for the project, “English Language Literacy Program.”

The program focuses on teaching and tutoring children between the ages of five and 15, as well as adults who have challenges speaking, writing and reading English. Zamani’s program is based out of Kaduna State, Nigeria, and concentrates primarily on rural communities.

“I observed in my community that so many adults and kids have challenges in reading, writing and communicating in the English Language,” said Zamani. “English is the most spoken language in Nigerian and the world. To travel, use the ATM machine, get a job, socialize, etc., one needs to know how to read, right and communication in the English Language.”

In 2017, IRIS awarded over $13,000 in scholarship and grants to YES program alumni for programs in a wide variety of countries.

“The grant has a huge impact on my English Language Literacy Program because it will go a long way funding and buying facilities needed to teach and make the program more successful,” said Zamani.

The primary source of funding for the Global Grants & Scholarships program is the annual Layers of Diversity Art Auction. The 2017 Layers of Diversity Art Auction took place on Thursday, July 20, from 5-8 p.m. at the Moberg Gallery in Des Moines, IA.

The 2017 Art Auction raised over $3,500 for the Global Grants & Scholarships program to fund international initiatives to YES program alumni.

“The YES program exposed me about the happenings in the world and also built my confidence in writing and communicating in English Language,” said Zamani. “It also gave me ideas on how to make a project that will benefit so many people and gave me thoughts on how to go about the project.”

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