CGI U 2012
On March 29, 2012, TYO's Volunteer Coordinator and two youth leadership committee members of the Youth Action Local Leadership Alliance (YALLA) - Jamila and Mohammed -arrived in Washington to participate in the Clinton Global Initiative- University (CGI -U) 2012 at the George Washington University. As representatives of TYO and Palestinian youth, they shared their commitment - the YALLA project - with other likeminded youth from around the world. On the first day of CGI U they participated in the Opening Plenary: The Power of the Public Service, led by President Clinton. President Clinton talked about CGI U and why it was established - to empower youth and university students all over the world, to bring them together to share their experiences and projects, and to motivate them to do more to take initiative in supporting their communities.
They also had the pleasure of meeting with Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist, who spoke at the CGI U sessions about the power of social media; how it can be used to support global issues and how we can use it to create networks and share our experiences with others. As a long-term supporter of TYO, he was interested to learn more about the work TYO does on the ground in Nablus.
On the second day of the conference, Ahmad, Jamila and Mohammed participated in the Morning Plenary: The Wisdom of Failure. They learned about creative problem solving, implementing ideas, and how to avoid the failures when leading a project. In the afternoon, Jamila and Mohammed were invited to have lunch with President Clinton and during the discussion, he talked with them about global initiatives and how these initiatives develop communities. During this time Ahmad had a table at the CGI U Exchange to talk about TYO and YALLA project. The Exchange hosted 114 tables of various initiatives, projects and organizations committed to education, environment and climate change, peace and human rights and poverty alleviation. During the Exchange, more than 40 people showed interest with International Internship Program and wanted to get involved with helping disadvantage areas in the Middle East, especially in Palestine.
On the last day Ahmad, Jamila and Mohamed registered to participate with a service project. They organized, cleaned and painted houses and even rebuilt some houses in disadavantged areas in Washington.
During the time they spent in Washington, they did some site seeing, visiting the National Mall, Smithsonian Museums and the National Zoo. The group will never forget what they saw and all of the interesting people they met. They greatly appreciated the hospitality and were in inspired by the culture of volunteerism, organization and beautiful views of Washington. The group plans to share what they saw, heard, and experienced with their community to continue encouraging others to participate with the development of their countries and become more active citizens.