Alumni of the YES program held various projects in conjunction of Global Youth Service Day (GYSD). April 18, 2015 proved to be an eventful day as alums helped in the plateau and Taraba areas in Nigeria. Here are some of the projects that took place during GYSD:

Alum cleaning the garden of an orphanage

YES alumni; Nendi Solomon Lukolm, Adams Atang Garba and John Izang volunteered at a local orphanage in Jos, Nigeria last month. They improved the orphanage’s garden and cleaned its surroundings. This activity carried out by our YES alumni is aimed to improve the environmental condition around the orphanage in preparation for the raining season. From cleaning, tidying up to cutting the grass, and also spending time with the orphans, Nendi, Adams and John have provided amazing acts of kindness—this includes even helping the orphanage staff with their daily tasks.

A child receiving deworming medicine in Jemi Village.

Also in Nigeria, alums Deborah John and Munira Abdul lent their helping hands to the people in Jemi Village. Over 500 inhabitants of the village in the southern part of Taraba state received deworming medicine, and most of them were children. The YES alumni partnered with Emani Health; a non-profit organization in making the project a huge success. Prior to the event, they organized a clothing drive and the collected items were then distributed to the participants of the event. Not only did the people of Jemi village received deworming medicine, but they also had generous help with clothing as well.

Over in Zaria, Kaduna, Project Bright Walls went on with full force. The project entails decorating the walls of the Children’s Ward of Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital. Often afraid of being taken to the hospitals,the frontliners of this project aims to provide a cheery and inviting environment for the children. YES alumni Roseline Teghtegh, Samira Salman, Ummul-khair Aliyu, Adamu Ishaq, alongside friends Sarah Adejo, Akatu Benedict and Silas Agat worked together to make the children’s ward colorful in order to remove the stigma that hospitals are unwelcoming. Children’s cartoons were added upon brightly painted walls to instill a sense of security for the young ones.

Also in the state of Kaduna, under the event, “Kids Community Sanitation,” alum Faith Zabe Aruwan and her friends Favor Simon, Joses Simon, Joy Simon, Bodan John, Kayet Usman, and Miracle John talked to children in the community about their responsibility in keeping their environment clean. Some of the advices given to the children were to use trashcans instead of opting to litter on the ground, and also to organize regular community clean ups. The main objective of this project is to change the mentality of children who often have the perception that it’s not their responsibility to keep the environment clean, but the government’s.

IRIS will continue to encourage our alumni to pay it forward, especially when opportunities such as Global Youth Service Day comes around. We are proud that our alums are making a change in their communities, and we hope that these projects will be beneficial for their society in the long run.

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