GTR Newspapers photo
DIPLOMACY: Details: Three high school students and one adult who visited Tulsa July 20 – Aug. 3, through Tulsa Global Alliance () and the Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program (IYLEP) have established a food bank in Kurdistan as a result of their visit to Tulsa.
IYLEP students Mahmood Doghramajy, Amani Ramadan, and Lachin Bndyan and adult mentor Karwan Khuder came to the United States to study programs to help refugees and internally displaced persons (), and as part of their experience, they volunteered at the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma.
Inspired by their experience in Tulsa, they founded a new nonprofit organization – the Kurdistan Food Bank. The Kurdistan Food Bank aims to address the problem of hunger in their community by providing food for the refugee and population in the city of Erbil.
Their goal is to deliver 20-30 packages to families in need monthly. In the month of November alone, they exceeded this goal by delivering over 80 packages to families in need.
Board Chair Cathy Render says, “This is a great example of how international exchange programs can inspire young visitors and change life focus. It’s great to know the Tulsa spirit of community service has made such a profound impact in the lives of these students and their local communities.”
Vice-President of Programs and Interim Director Bob Lieser says, “Tulsa Global Alliance applauds these Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program alumni for making a difference in their community.” Greg Raskin, communications manager at the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma, says “This is extremely inspirational and reminds us how our work impacts other people in not so obvious ways. We are proud to partner with Tulsa Global Alliance.”