The United Youth Empowerment Services was founded April 18th, 2016 by four twenty-something family men
knowledgeable about refugee community needs, enthusiastic about educational filming, and willing to volunteer our time for
the good of our people.
United Youth Empowerment Services (United Y.E.S) are the brand new brainchild of four friends who grew up together in
Lewiston after being transplanted from Southern Somalia through Kenyan refugee camps to Maine. We are by now a group
of twenty-something family men who share a love of multimedia production and maintain a firm commitment to helping our
community. Along with four young women who have recently joined our Board of Directors, we aim to unite these twin
passions in projects to educate our struggling youth by producing instructional yet edifying short films to be posted on social
media for our teenagers to consume. In addition, we envision the transfer of media production skills to younger African
immigrants being central to our mission
Informally, however, we have existed for several years under the name Dalanta Nabada (Youth of Peace). As new high
school graduates, we four organized more than twenty other young men and women to work together making and screening
digital videos. We had noticed that younger people (boys and girls ages 12-18) were too often failing in school and we were
acutely aware that their immigrant parents did not know how to help. In fact, the two generations were not having good
communication at all. The young ones were running too wild in the streets at that time. We called a meeting and proposed
making a film together. They each made their small donation when we met every Saturday. With those small contributions
adding up, we began to purchase our equipment.
The United Youth Empowerment Services has been creating multi-cultural narrative films and documentaries for the Immigrats population in order to encourage refugee youth towards positive choices. Through lenses, we entertain and
educate our community.
One major reason we began the organization is because we are both hi-tech and “cool”; the youth believe in us. The youth
love what we are doing. We have to find something that they can hang onto to move forward. We are the only immigrant
NGO in Maine, indeed in all of New England that is focusing on film and video production as a way of encouraging and
inspiring youth to be the best they can be. Our goal is to make Lewiston+Auburn a better place by helping youth to take a
better path in life.
United Youth Empowerment Services films because we believe movies have something to say to the world. Videos bring
awareness of certain subjects to the public and can tell an interesting story about a historical event or person.
We appreciate your cooperation in helping us to make this project run.