I joined WYA’s internship because of their unique area of concentration: human dignity. It was a term I was familiar with and knew the meaning of but did not actually take a keen interest to know on a deeper level. This was until I took WYA’s free online training, the Certified Training Program, which gave me a better and deeper philosophical understanding of human dignity and what the organization stood for.
It was here that my journey with World Youth Alliance began. The following are the reasons why I think everyone should join WYA internship program as well:
WYA internship provided me with an opportunity to do something constructive with my time as I did not want to sit at home idling my summer away. I was able to work in a conducive environment that gave me working experience and etiquette.
Upon getting accepted in the internship program, I got to experience what it means to be an actual working professional, in terms of dressing, working, and communicating like one. I got to be in charge of planning, organizing, coordinating and executing some of the Africa regional office’s programs like the Dignity forum, Youth Summit, African Arts Forum, Dignity Project and Furaha Camp. These enabled me to gain and improve on a varying set of skills.
During my internship, I was able to create good professional networks and forge friendships with some along the way, thanks to WYA’s mentorship on how to present and market myself professionally. I have been blessed to work under excellent staff that not only nurtures and directs an intern in their various career paths but are also kind, virtuous and loving which rubbed on me.
WYA launched the very first VCSF in 2017 for one African youth. The scholarship is named after the departed Regional Director of Operations, Mrs. Vanessa Cherese whose dream was to see African youth be given more opportunities to access the international forum. I am honored to be the first recipient of the scholarship which was opened to every WYA member in Africa and was very competitive. It’s main purpose is to provide one African youth with an opportunity to undertake the internship at the WYA headquarters that includes active participation at the international arena, the United Nations. As the days continue to unfold in my stay here in New York, it is part of my dream to see Vanessa’s dream become fulfilled as I also play a part in making sure as people read this, they become motivated, encouraged and know that despite your background WYA has a place for you.
Upon the end of my internship, I remember I was so sad and worried if I’ll ever get to experience something similar again in my lifetime. It was then that I decided to ask Patricia Gwambo, the WYA Africa Regional Director, if there are other ways in which I can continue to work with the organization and her answer not only made my day but ensured that my commitment to WYA will continue.
To say I was impressed by the extent the organization was willing to go to help me as a youth would be undermining their efforts. This is because WYA goes out of their way to ensure that the youth’s talents, abilities and skills are nurtured in a positive way to ensure a bright future. It was then that I vowed to became one of the most active WYA member in the region by actively participating in the regional activities via volunteering for the organized activities and not long after, I became part of the newly revived Kenyan National Committee which offers support and advice to the Regional Office on various activities.
To the WYA Africa and WYA staff that have groomed me to be partly who I am today, you have my sincerest and utmost gratitude and as the days go by may God continue to bless you all in all your endeavors. Muchas Gracias and Asanteni Sana.
Written by Pamella Oddotte, a current WYA Headquarters’ intern from Kenya.