How WYA’s CTP was My Solace During Lockdown

Life is a series of experiences that make us learn and grow. Some can be hard but still educating and other experiences can be just life-changing in a very enlightening and positive way. My Certified Training Program experience with World Youth Alliance definitely belongs to the second category. 

I started the training during the Covid 19 pandemic. More specifically, during the 7-week lockdown in France. I am someone who likes going out to run every morning and I also like sightseeing, so the lockdown – even though I respected it to the fullest – was not the easiest experience especially as I am living in a foreign country alone and far away from my family. Luckily, things changed when the CTP started and I found myself looking forward to the weekly online discussions with the trainer and the other participants of the program who were from different countries and cultures. I got to engage with the group and share ideas. Since the first week, the learning process started and I found my understanding of some fundamental notions improving or drastically changing. The first chapter introduces Human Dignity as intrinsic and inviolable for every human being from conception until natural death and as the foundation of every human right.

As I dived deeper into the insightful texts of every chapter, my coping with the lockdown evolved and I found a new meaning to the quarantine experience. Hence, in the chapter about freedom, I discovered the freedom for excellence which we should all aspire for as human beings. “The journey of a life lived in freedom is a journey of growth in virtue – growth in the ability to choose wisely and well the things that truly make for our happiness and for the common good” This is a quote from my favourite text entitled  “Two Ideas of Freedom”, by George Weigel in the CTP manual. I also discovered a new meaning to solidarity as His Holiness The Dalai Lama said “we all share this small planet Earth, we have to learn to live in harmony and peace with each other and with nature. That is not just a dream, but a necessity. We are dependent on each other in so many ways that we can no longer live in isolated communities and ignore what is happening outside those communities. We need to help each other when we have difficulties, and we must share the good fortune that we enjoy”.

I wanted to show my solidarity with the homeless people who live in the street and found themselves alone during the pandemic by participating in a movement called “ Pour Eux” or “ For Them”; I cooked 3 meals per day five days a week and volunteers came by my apartment every evening to take what I prepared and delivered to those in need. I believe that, thanks to the way the CTP redefined concepts such as freedom, solidarity and responsibility, I started looking at the lockdown and the pandemic as an opportunity for me to become a better person which, in my opinion, is  WYA ‘s aim from this program; to produce a generation of youth who aim to be better.

In addition, I realized that peace comes from within us and that we are responsible for our own happiness and for the happiness of those around us, so I needed to be peaceful about the fact that taking care of myself and respecting the lockdown rules and social distancing is a must for me to make sure that people around me are healthy and happy.

In fact, I discovered that as human beings we are meant to evolve and flourish, we just need that beautiful experience that can make that happen. 

Apply for the WYA Certified Training Program, applications are now open for the 2021 batch. Visit WYA website for more information and apply through this application link to enjoy an authentic, life-changing experience. 

Published: November 21, 2020
Written by Moutiaa Gouaida, a WYAMENA Regional Online Intern.