In partnership with the U.S embassy a team of six girl guides was sent to the United States of America through the Pan African Youth Leadership Program (PAYLP). The trip started from the 5th April and ended on the 28th April 2019. The team was made of five high school girl guides who went through a selection process and got chosen among others. Those students are: Laura Agaro from Lycée Notre Dame de Cîteaux, Melissa Lauraine Muhizi from Inyange Girls School of Sciences, Paola Maliza from Group Scolaire Notre Dame du Bon Conseil, Peace Anne Nice from Group Scolaire Notre Dame du Bon Conseil and Heloïse Bwiza from Lycée Notre Dame de Cîteaux. This team was led by Nicole Mukiza the AGR’s communication and international relations commissioner.
The program aim was to equip participants with leadership skills through different workshops and cultural exchange. It was attended by teams from fourteen different African countries, Rwanda included.
This team’s learning journey started from Atlanta where they visited the Martin Luther King Museum. The ladies said it was an epic experience from which they learnt a lot. Saying “whatever we do, we now know that some people had to give their lives so that we can be here and it inspired us to fight for our rights and the rights of others, as well”. They also said that the African-American story also taught them to keep moving no matter what the situation is.
From Atlanta the team went to Alabama where they spent most of the time and had an amazing experience, staying in different host families where they got to live and learn the American lifestyle and got to exchange culture with their respective host families. It is also in Alabama that the team went through different leadership workshops where they learnt about: Public Speaking, Diplomacy, Human Rights, Financial Management, Communication, Project Design and other important skills.
When asked about something special about the trip that they will never forget, they said that meeting girl scouts of Alabama made them feel good and the fact that they had something in common made them feel at home. Another thing that they said they will not forget is meeting with the mayor of Birmingham and visiting the World of Coca-Cola.
The journey take away were plenty but to give you a taste of some of those: Peace said that participating in this program led her to being more open and improved on her public speaking skills. Laura said it increase herself confidence. Paola said it made her again new friends and Melissa said it improved her leadership skills as someone who aspires to be an entrepreneur. Also, during this journey the team developed a project about: Teen Pregnancy Prevention in High schools and pledged to work on the project as a way of practicing what they learnt, when they return in Rwanda. They are currently preparing to put in action their first activity in their different high schools from the beginning of the 2020.
A great leader’s courage to fulfill his vision comes from passion, not position. – John Maxwell