The idea of an internship for most of us is to learn new skills that we can apply in our different fields. It is a platform that can help us put our ideas into action and knowledge to practice. This is what I had in mind when I applied for the World Youth Alliance internship program, little did I know that it would be a twist of fate and a life changing experience.
My first encounter with the World Youth Alliance (WYA) was in 2017, I had just graduated from university and a friend of mine had referred me to the WYA website to look out for opportunities. I learned about the Certified Training Programme (CTP) and decided to familiarize myself with the programme and try to grasp some concepts. I found the readings fascinating, besides the fact that I was an International Relations student at the time, I could also relate most of the issues discussed in the CTP to my country, Zimbabwe and problems that the youth are facing around the continent.
That year in December my friend and I set out to join the BBQ so that I can learn more about the organization and meet the team. The environment was welcoming and everything was well organized. The first thing that caught my attention was the way people were working together and the social environment, everyone could freely express themselves. We engaged in a lot of activities that day and learned more about the World Youth Alliance and the work they do around the world.
Two months ago I joined the internship program that has changed my mindset and exposed me to a lot of exciting activities but most of all; I met “The winning team.” The beauty of World Youth Alliance is that it places you in a position of understanding your value and the importance of appreciating those around you. This mindset is not something that ends at the office doors but you carry it along wherever you go and it becomes a part of you.
I call my colleagues “The winning team” because they quickly became family. I have learned that there is beauty in valuing each other because we push ourselves to higher dimensions that we never thought we could reach. As youths, we have so many fears and habits that pull us back from achieving our goals but throughout this internship, I have learned the importance of being there for each other and believing not only in you but also in others to achieve a common goal. As “ The winning team” we work together to face our fears and conquer our day to day challenges with a positive mindset.
Learning and engaging in practical activities at the World Youth Alliance has made this aspect of solidarity evident, I have seen it without a struggle, manifest amongst us. One of my best experiences was the “I AND THOU WEEK”, which is an activity we normally practice in February in respect of Valentine’s Day. We share the true nature of human dignity for that week through gifts, letters and other exciting things which enable us to appreciate ourselves and each other. Being able to plan and engage in WYA’s programs together with the team has been an exciting journey, we have managed to share this solidarity and dignity to empower every youth we get in contact with.
Written by Raymond Moyo, a WYA Africa B1 2019 intern from Zimbabwe