YES7 Host Family Orientation

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Information about YES7 Host Family Orientation

Published on November 20, 2009

Author: IRISinIowa



This is the presentation used at the beginning of the year to acquaint host families with the YES program and address common issues.

YES families orientation

Welcome Address Del Christensen Executive Director of IRIS

General info about hosting Communication Students have strict instruction from me to ask questions when they don’t know something and when they are not sure about something Treat the student like your own child Patience

First Things to Talk About Hygiene Punctuality/time management Appliances Chores Budgeting Internet & phone usage Interaction with host family and classmates Conserving energy

Cultural differences to be aware of Eye contact Giving things with left hands Picking nose Politically correct words and statements “the finger” American English vs. British English Pants vs. trousers

Africans and pets Most Africans do not like dogs Dogs in Africa are not friendly Dogs are use for security, they are rarely seen as pets Please explain to your student that your dog is friendly and encourage them to pet them


Winter They will be scared at first but they adjust easily Most of them will say a few weeks into the winter that they “love the snow but hate the cold” If you don’t have a winter coat for your student(s), we have a few donated ones in the office that we could send you Reminders about hats and mittens/winter safety

Hosting a Muslim Student Pray 5 times a day Do ablution before each prayers –use bathtub Mosque on Fridays; however, most of them understand that they won’t be able to go to mosque every Fridays Do not eat pork Most of the girls will wear a headscarf (Hijab)

Ramadan Starts on August 21st Ends on September 20th Students will be fasting from sunrise to sunset Please make a plate for them the night before Give them an alarm End of Ramadan there is a feast called EidFitr If you can, take your student to the nearest mosque that day

School Have to take at least a semester of American Government or History Take a year of English We also encourage them to take a “fun” class Encourage the students be involved with sports, plays, clubs, and art classes

High school


African Hair Hair You can find most hair product at your local Sally’s Beauty Supply or at Target in the ethnic hair section In case they want to braid their hair: It cost a lot of money to have extensions done You can find a hair salon in big cities (Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Omaha) Some of the YES students can braid hair.

African Skin African skin gets extremely dry especially during the winter. Any lotion, especially for dry skin, will help the student. It is important that they use a lot of lotion

YES Program Rules There are two types of rules: Probationary Rules Dismissive Rules

Probationary Rules A few examples of Probationary Rules: Less than 2 hours of community service per month Failure to be involved in family and school activities Failure to use your stipend money while in the program Less than a C grade in any class


Dismissive Rules As a general rule, all YES students must obey the laws of the United States of America and the State of Iowa. If found guilty of violating any law, they will be returned home as soon as possible.

3 main Dismissive Rules


Community Service Students are not allow to work for pay. Everything should be volunteer work. At least two hours of community service every month. They could volunteer at the church, school, nursing home, make presentations, etc…

Communication with IRIS An IRIS staff will call you and your student(s) at least twice a month Please use this opportunity to share any concerns/issues you may have with the student(s) If any issue arises, we will be more than happy to help and even come to your home if you need us to do so. An IRIS staff will call the school at least once a month

Advice from former host family and former YES student Mike and Faye Adamu Ibrahim

Thank you Dr. Saidu Yakubu West Africa Country Coordinator

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