YES Alumni Social Entrepreneur Training Workshop

Chintan Mehta (YES’12) attended YES Alumni Social Entrepreneur Training Workshop State Department Sponsored Programs Conference held from 2-10 March 2016 in Alexandria, VA. The goal of the workshop was to provide YES alumni with change-making and project management skills and tools they can apply to a concrete action in their community. On 2 and 3 March, the participants helped in setting up for the main event which included registration tables, nametags, materials for Capitol Hill Day, etc.  There were 2 consecutive workshops scheduled one after the other. Sponsored Programs (SP) Spring Workshop for US and international staff and volunteers responsible for implementing State Department Sponsored Programs was scheduled from March 3-6th: The sessions mainly focused on Changemaking and Facing Our Biases: Take Action for Positive Social Change, group activities, international bazaar, Culture and Program specific presentations and a discussion on Islam session. YES Alumni Social Entrepreneur Leadership Workshop was planned from 7-10 March.  The sessions included in this workshop were: Characteristics of change maker, introduction to Ashoka Venture and its curriculum, Passions/Problems, community mapping, Issue connectedness, creating community awareness, storytelling, elevator pitch, fund raising etc to name a few. The alumni acquired great learning by way of sharing their experiences with each other.

Interfaith Harmony Workshop

Aajra Shaikh (YES’07) and Vyom Raisurana (YES’12) were a part of The Interfaith Harmony Workshop was held in Rabat, Morocco from the 7th to the 9th of March 2016. The workshop aimed to have an interfaith dialogue between the YES Alumni thus promoting interfaith cooperation and to help in creating cultures of peace and justice for all.

The first day sessions started with the day started with discussions with Panel of local religious leaders where they shared their stories and experiences of how they had promoted interfaith dialogue in different communities across. The participants were then divided into small groups and discussions were held on understanding ourselves better, understanding other faiths, and approach to peace building.

The group also visited Fez, one of the oldest and best-preserved Islamic cities in the world along with a visit to International Institute for Languages and Cultures (INALC) where the topic of “Interfaith Efforts in Morocco-Fez” was addressed by Dr. Sadik Reddad. On the last day, the participants were again divided into small groups and they discussed  on reflection from Fez visit and started building up Interfaith Communities. The very final activity was the cultural evening, wherein most people came dressed in their traditional attire and danced on their traditional music.

Meeting with U.S. Consulate Officials

YES alumni from Mumbai such as: Pooja Shah, Rudra Chauhan, Zarrin Ansari, Nafisa, Soham Shirpurkar had a lunch meeting with U.S. Consulate General, Mumbai’s Public Affairs Officer (PAO), Philip Roskamp, and Assistant Cultural Affairs Officer (ACAO), Brittney Stewart on Monday, March 28, 2016. The team discussed as to how we YES Alumni (Western Region) shall be kept in touch with one another as well as with US Consulate Mumbai.
The main focus was to interact with students before they leave for the program, during the program through some creative activities that they do there which will attract Indian audience and after the program. Throughout the discussion, these alumni came up with different sorts of ideas and suggestions that can be made be implemented before, during and after the program. They also discussed if a student going to some particular city can be get in touch with an alumni who is back from the program and was hosted in same city as his/her, it will be really helpful to the students.

Local Alumni Coordinators Training by Alumni Association of India

The Alumni Association of India (AAI) conducted their first ever training for Local Alumni Coordinators (LACs) from 19-20 March, 2016 in Pune.

There were 16 alumni, 5 trainers and 2 National office staff members who attended the training that intended on making the LACs aware of their roles and responsibilities and charting the action plan for year 2016-17. The participants set goals for alumni re-engagement for the year 2016-17 and the strategies for the same were discussed.

The main topics discussed were the roles and responsibilities of the LACs, the line of contact to be followed, strategies for alumni re-engagement and planning for the upcoming community service, Global Youth Service Day. The participants also came up with a comprehensive agenda for the Alumni Reconnect Workshop which aims towards connecting new and senior alumni which is to be held region wise.

On day 2, there was a session about AFS World Café, how to stay connected and use the resources provided by all. A general overview of the status of community service projects was discussed and the participants came up with some more ideas of their own which are going to be pursued in the due course.

The LACs were also given an overview of the ‘Road Safety Project’ and timelines were set for completing the same.

The training ended on a very positive and energetic note, with the participants going back to their respective chapters, with set targets in their mind and enthusiasm to make AAI a success.

We're thankful to the trainers as well as board members who took out time and were part of the training.
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