Students help in beautification campaign [Archives:2006/938/Last Page]

April 17 2006
Students working hard to clean Sabaeen Park in Sanaa.
Students working hard to clean Sabaeen Park in Sanaa.
America-Mideast Educational and Training Services Institute (AMIDEAST) has arranged on April 8th a beautification campaign for its students in a public park in Sana'a.

ACCESS Yemen students, who receive one-year scholarships from the U.S. State Department for English language study at AMIDEAST, participated in a beautification campaign at Sabaeen Park Thursday, April 6. They were assisted by 25 high school exchange nominees from the Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program, as well as supported by AMIDEAST team leaders, teachers and staff, along with employees from the mayor's office.

As part of their community service efforts for Yemen, 250 ACCESS students collected more than 250 bags of trash in the park, as well as broken glass and rusted metal, which pose hazards to park-goers, particularly children.

Students also weeded portions of the park and planted flowers provided by the mayor's office to assist the park's beautification. “I learned about plants and how to keep them beautiful,” ACCESS student Amal said, “I also learned about cooperation in work. I had a lot of fun and I did something for my country. I know it's very small, but in the future, I'm going to do a lot for my country.”

Following the hard work, Deputy Mayor Abdullah Sunbel spoke to the students about how to maintain hygiene and ensure pollution-free lives. He noted that good personal habits naturally will help the physical environment. The mayor's office also arranged an educational comic play presented by two stand-up comedians who received many laughs from the audience and much acclaim.

The beautification campaign followed a successful clean-up in Aden last month, March 23, in which 200 ACCESS students cleaned Aden Marsh, an environmental site internationally important as a bird fly-over stop. The Aden Marsh activity was facilitated by the Ministry of Water and Environment and the governor's office.

According to AMIDEAST Yemen Country Director Sabrina Faber, “Through the ACCESS Micro-Scholarship program, we not only seek to give teenagers an important skill for their futures, but also help them realize that they can do a lot with the skills they have right now. Young people can be involved in their communities and they can make a difference in Yemen's environment, for example.

“Noticeably, after the presentations arranged by the mayor's office, all of the students returned to the park to make further contributions. We feel that the Sabaeen Park community service activity, as well as the Aden Marsh community service project, were days for Yemen and Yemenis. We also hope and believe that the ACCESS and YES students and other youth groups will continue their contributions to Yemen,” Faber added.

Primarily funded by the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, ACCESS Micro-Scholarships provide secondary school-aged students throughout the Middle East and North Africa with English language training for academic and future career opportunities. The scholarship also provides ACCESS grantees the opportunity to participate in cultural activities and community service projects. This year's ACCESS program in Yemen includes 450 Yemeni teenagers at AMIDEAST's Aden and Sana'a centers.