Training in Indonesia ‘chance of a lifetime’
dWT photo / Irvin Ngariman -
Samantha Bansi and Jason Arjoon have attended leadership training, and lessons in starting community projects and training skills in Indonesia. The young people have also spent a year in the USA for the YES exchange program.-.
Two junior high students who were selected last year for a one-year stay and study program in the USA, have participated in training in Indonesia last month. Samantha Bansi and Jason Arjoon, both 17, attended leadership training, lessons in starting community projects and training skills.
Bansi says that although they were
informed about the training rather late, they made every effort to
get selected, calling it a "chance of a lifetime."
The opportunity to travel to Indonesia was provided as a
follow-up of the Youth ExchangeStudy program (YES) of the United
States. The foundation iEARN Suriname (International Education
& Resource Network) started the YES program in Suriname in 2008
in cooperation with the US Embassy. Junior high school students
between the ages of 15 and 17 can stay in the US for a year with a
scholarship. Besides the opportunities for their own education,
they also serve as youth ambassadors of their own country, as they
learn Americans about their country and culture.
Bansi and Arjoon stayed in the US from August 2011 to July 2012,
and started projects in their communities after their return.
Arjoon has started a recycling project to make his community more
aware about the environment and the benefits of recycling, while
Bansi has focused her project on women, teaching English five days
a week to 24 female drop-outs between 19 and 45. They want to
develop their projects further with the knowledge gained in
Dave Abeleven, chairman of the foundation iEARN Suriname, says
that for now, Suriname is the first and only South-American country
participating in the YES program. "Suriname's diversity would be
among the reasons for this." The US established the program after
the attacks of 11 September 2001 to bring young people from other
countries, particularly Muslims, to the US and thus improve the
image of Islam.-.