In November 2016, the YES Alumni community in Bulgaria joined the global initiative “Letters of Hope to Syrian Refugees”. There are many organizations that provide humanitarian relief, food baskets, grocery debit cards, emergency shelter and hygiene kits to Syrian refugees. However, something more needs to be delivered and that is HOPE. The whole idea was to write a heartfelt message of hope and solidarity, no matter where you live. These messages were to be translated into Arabic and shared with Syrian refugee teenagers and children. When our YES Alumni Coordinator in BiH shared this idea with the American Councils office staff, we included Access students in this process.
The Access class in Travnik wrote about twelve of these letters which were shared with the Bulgarian YES Alumni and were then forwarded to the refugees. We are pleased that our Access students improved their English skills through the program, and shared their experiences and hope for better tomorrow for Syria. These letters represent moral support for Syrian teenagers and kids in a way that they are not forgotten and that the world cares. It can be all the difference in the world to know you’re not alone. This is also great way to show how different programs, located in different countries, can work together and how English language can connect us in so many ways.