By Shawqi Almaayn
Alumni and future participants of the U.S. embassy’s Youth Exchange Study (YES) paid a visit to an orphanage in Sana’a on Thursday. The community service event consisted of 50 students who participated in many activities at the orphanage with the help of U.S. embassy staff, including painting, cleaning and playing with the children. Orphanage manager Ahlam Alarashi welcomed Debbie Scibek, the International Education Officer at Amideast, and U.S. Embassy Cultural Affairs Officer Adam Sigelman. “It is impressive to see alumni ready to clean, paint and spend their day playing sports with the orphans,” Alarashi stated. Pyschologist Merzah Hashim works at the orphanage and said that children need a lot of community support; they should be encouraged and supported with sports and arts activities he said. “Mostly, we seem them developing a lot of interested in different sports,” Hashim said. Scibek stated that educational opportunities are offered to all students at Amideast. “A couple of students who went on to graduate from Amideast came from the orphanage.” Volunteerism is an important part of all the embassy’s scholarship programs. It encourages its exchange program alumni to give back to their communities when they return home.