I know it can be tough to imagine how to get from where you are today to where you want to be tomorrow. But I’m here to tell you that change is possible and if a window of opportunity appears don’t pull down the shade.
For the first time, I received a mail from the Ghana Girl Guides Association calling out for application on the YESS (Youth Exchange South to South ) Programme so when this opportunity presented itself, I wasn’t afraid to go after it. I was ready to explore new culture and learn more about guiding. God being so good, I made it as one of the first YESS participant from Ghana deployed to Rwanda of which I couldn’t let go of excitement.
I started preparations which included processing my travelling documents and undergoing a medical examination to be sure I’m fit for the new journey. Lo and behold the date set for our departure! 20th 2020 January finally arrived which made me sad and happy at the same time since I was leaving behind my dear ones and also the fact that I was going to explore new things to have a better understanding of the world.
On the 21st January 2020, Team Ghana arrived safely in Uganda where we lodged at Speke Resort in Munyonyo for the NOREC Youth Camp and WAGGGS Preparatory Course. It was really amazing to see other young people who want to make the world a better and safer place.
We gained in-depth knowledge of youth leadership and activism since one cannot bring about change without leadership and passion.
The preparatory with WAGGGS started on 24th January 2020, which had 45 participants from 14 countries. Hence we were grouped according to the host countries. For Team Rwanda we were 8 young women from Ghana, Senegal, Kenya, Uganda, Malawi, Madagascar, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
We were thoroughly taken the 6 core initiatives we would be working on, the WAGGGS leadership model, first aid training, personal and financial management just to mention a few as these were vitals for our journey of a lifetime.
It ended with an international evening celebrating diversity on the 29th January 2020, after which we got ready to set off to the host country, Rwanda : a country of thousand hill.
Upon arrival at Kigali International Airport on the 30th January 2020, the YESS Country Coordinator together with the YESS peers gave us a warm welcome and took us to our home which was well furnished with beautiful serene environnement.
As we started with our activities, I realized that Rwanda is an impeccably beautiful country with its residents being friendly and welcoming. I must admit is impressively safe, stable and make you feel as secure as possible.
Abruptly, all our field activities we brought to a halt as result of the novel corona virus which is a global pandemic since human lives are in peril and restrictions on movement. However , it didn’t stop us from carrying out our tasks as we employed our Surf Smart on our social media platforms to contribute to the fight against COVID-19 b raising awareness and adhering to the precautionary measures.
We engaged as many people as possible and that was when I realized that we learn more in crisis than in comfort. During lockdown I built a strong relationship with my team since we were all in this together and they were all I had.
It also enable me to prioritize my mental, physical and spiritual wellness as I had enough time to get my life together in order to be a responsible global citizen. The life after lockdown hasn’t been the same as it was before.
I have become more responsible and careful by monitoring what I want to do, where I go and what I touch. My life has changed an I’m changing with it. A special note of thanks to WAGGGS, NOREC, Ghana Girl Guides Association and Association des Guides du Rwanda for giving me this golden opportunity. YESS is indeed a journey of a lifetime.