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What Others Say About RYS

I will pray for God's blessing on your beautiful work of love... Do it for the glory of God and the good of the people

- Mother Theresa
to the participants of RYS India, 1993

"At first I was skeptical about attending the RYS due the presence of different religions. However, I continued with my plans to attend the project since I want to be a person who makes a difference in the world. I came with an open heart, willing to accept whatever the program had in store for me. The program was more than I ever expected. RYS had taught me to be a better person and also showed me how to be a follower as well as a leader."

- Shonelle Alert

"When I see you all here I see the dream of Rev. King in action."

- Dr. Babs Phillips
former personal secretary to Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.
Founder of the Afrikan Amerikan International
Women/Men's Foundation for Peace and Progress
to the participants of RYS Atlanta, USA 1994

"At the crack of dawn we stand before a beautiful river. As the sun emerges from behind the massive greenery, chasing the darkness away, it illuminates the grace of this wide and flowing body. I look at this river and I see the start of a new me - a beautiful me on the inside; a confident lass, a continued beliver and motivator."

- Joelle Jackman


"I love the RYS. I get to respect young people and work with them. I had to be the big brother on a project I knew nothing about. I didn't feel old nor did I look at them as being young. We were equals; we were brothers and sisters. We need this in the Nederlands."

- Melvin Pique
The Netherlands


"May the RYS continue to work in all the nations around the world to ignite everywhere the fire of hope and coorperation for a better future."

Pres. Corazon Aquino,
former president of the Philippines
with RYS volunteers in the Philippines, 1986


"The design that the RYS has made for us to interact with each other and the directors resulted in some kind of deep connection. The way people presented themselves, the result, the togetherness - all of this was something very new to me. I couldn't imagine feeling so very comfortable among people I only knew for a couple of days. This went beyond my expectations. I was experiencing something new. At that time, it was the only thing that was real, that was normal. This was joy! More like inner-joy."

- Luker Romalho

"I got a call from the Minister of Youth and he said I should represent the Youths of Suriname in RYS, because I have been elected as Youth Parliamentarian. My mother said, 'Joel, try volunteering for once.' At the worksite I noticed no one saw me as a 'celebrity', but as a brother and a friend. Politics took on a different meaning in my life. If I have a friend in Trinidad and Guyana I will become a better politician. I will understand the needs of international youths. RYS took away my selfishness and gave me a new life. I am learining how to serve the people and not just myself. Suriname is so divided, not by religion but by culture. The Paramimbo never say 'I Love You' to the Binnenlanders because they blame them for the civil war and vice versa. Only RYS can change that. I have friends/family in Paramarimbo and the Binnenland now."

- Joel Dominee


"Being able to experience each religion first-hand and interact with its community was something I would have never been able to experience through a book or another service organization. With every new place of worship that we visited, my mind became more and more open to the new experiences and concepts, while all my old concepts and mental barriers were broken down. By the end of the project I left with the strong desire to continue to expand my knowledge and experience of other faiths by integrating myself into the various cultures. I am so grateful that there is an organization like RYS that is actively working to bring this world and its many peoples closer together in heart and spirit."

- Aika Watanabe
Netherlands 2008


"On the first day, at the work site, I (from France) was always with a Guatemalan worker. The task we were doing was the most tiring one of the day. But even though we could barely speak to one another, I could feel this man's wonderful heart filled with dedication. He laughed in the most tiring moments, which just spread a very positive spirit around and gave me energy to keep on going..."

- Alexandre Huard, France
Guatemala 2008



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© 2009 Religious Youth Service,
a project of the
Universal Peace Federation,
a member of WANGO, and an organization
in support of the UN Millennial Development Goals