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YES alumni student spreads holiday cheer in Nigeria

December 20, 2010

Around the world, people celebrate the holidays in their own unique ways, and YES alumni student Ummul-Khair Ango Aliyu demonstrates that no matter your beliefs, this season is a time to be kind and generous to all.

Ummi sewed clothes for children at a local orphanage

Earlier this month, YES alumni students in Kaduna State, Nigeria, spread a little holiday cheer by visiting a local orphanage to give the children the gift of clothing.

The idea was born in Ummi’s mind last March, when IRIS asked the 60 YES students living in the U.S. at the time to create proposals for a project they could put to action after returning home as alumni of the YES Program.

Alumni activities are an important component of the YES Program because they allow students to demonstrate to their international communities the civic responsibility and volunteerism learned through their year in the U.S.

Ummi, 17, was one of five students selected to receive funding from IRIS for her project during the 2009-2010 school year.

Building upon the sewing skills she knew from Nigeria with tips from her host mom and sewing classes at North and Lincoln High Schools in Des Moines, Iowa, Ummi planned to sew clothes out of pillowcases for children at an orphanage in her community. She collected pillowcases while in the U.S. and constructed them after returning home.

This was Ummi’s first clothing delivery since returning to Nigeria in June. Ten YES alumni students visited the Adonai Orphanage Home in Barnawa-Kaduna and presented 40 sets of clothing for the boys and girls of the orphanage, where 37 children ranging from 2 weeks to 17 years old reside.

“The alumni gave words of encouragement to the orphans and encouraged them to study hard to become leaders in the society,” said Dr. Saidu Yakubu, IRIS’s Nigeria country coordinator, who accompanied the group.

Ummi plans to continue sewing clothes and donating them to orphanages in the area.

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. Justin fuime permalink
    December 20, 2010 9:59 PM

    Hey Ummi, that’s a great job you are doing out there, don’t give up because that’s the beginning of solid responsibility to the community. Remember, it begins with you and me..let’s motivate our generation to bring changes to our societies, we are all proud of you.

  2. Christelle permalink
    December 20, 2010 10:27 PM

    Great Job Ummi! I am very proud of you and the other YES alumni. I am sure your visit and the clothes you made put a smile on the faces of those little kids. Keep up the great work!

  3. Terri Halstead permalink
    December 20, 2010 11:51 PM

    What a wonderful alumni project. Everyone looks like they were blessed, the giver as well as the receivers! Great job!!

  4. Kimmy Pocket permalink
    December 22, 2010 12:53 AM

    Wow – it is SO GOOD to see those familiar faces, especially in the volunteer capacity!! 🙂 great job, Kaduna, and thanks to Ummi for this amazing and creative idea.

  5. MaryLee Kersten-Day permalink
    December 22, 2010 4:47 PM

    What a great story about some pretty remarkable kids. It is so wonderful to see the YES 7 kids still working to make to world a better place. I applaude you all.

    • iriscenter permalink
      February 3, 2011 8:05 PM

      Thank you, MaryLee! We are so proud of them!

  6. December 22, 2010 5:19 PM

    Those pictures – so many smiles! It’s great to see you all reaching out to your community. Keep up the good work!

  7. TJ Attahir permalink
    December 22, 2010 6:36 PM

    Good job Ummi!!! You really make me proud!

    Will do similar!

  8. ishaku abner permalink
    December 23, 2010 3:37 PM

    nice jobs you guys
    keep it up

  9. Muhammed Auwal Muhammed permalink
    March 5, 2011 7:13 PM

    is good to see IRIS are still doing a very good job.
    Keep it up!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. deborah john permalink
    January 31, 2012 9:31 PM

    guys keep it up

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  1. “Reverse culture shock”: Returning home after study abroad « Iowa Resource for International Service

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