With Global Youth Service Day starting this Friday, April 12th, we’re shining the spotlight on a student who has been giving back in a big-hearted way all year long – Edson from Tanzania! Edson, studying in Texas with the Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program, has had the unique opportunity to volunteer with the World Relief Organization in facilitating space for refugee children to experience what all children should: play time.
Edson has become a beloved part of his host community in Texas since his arrival last fall. He plays on the school soccer team at his high school and has enjoyed sharing about his home country of Tanzania with his teammates. He has become involved with local nonprofits, having already completed over 100 hours of community service!
The main organization he has been volunteering for on a regular basis is called World Relief Fort Worth. Once a month, Edson helps host play dates for refugee children to interact with one another and have some fun after the many difficulties they have experienced. To prepare for this monthly event, Edson, his host mom, Wendy and host brother, Coby go to a local grocery store and purchase fruit and snacks which are given out at the playdate. They also prepare fun games for the children to engage in!
Edson and Coby along with other volunteers offer a variety of activities like soccer, ladder golf and “minute to win it” games. These children and their families have endured a long road to arrive here in the United States. Edson is therefore proud to have the opportunity to make a difference through this organization, since he knows what it feels like to be new to the community.
Edson sets a wonderful example of how we can all lend a helping hand, offer a kind smile, or the grant the gift of play! As his coordinator, Sherri says, “Edson’s smile lights up the room!” Let’s all shine a little bit of that love and light to others this week and throughout the year!
Would you like to host a compassionate student like Edson? There’s no better time than now! Have a look at our student profiles today!