“A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.”
A golden opportunity is how best I can describe my journey in the S2C so far. Going through the first phase has contributed immensely to my better woman project and has increased my capacity of being a great leader. The experiences, challenges and personal development has made this journey extremely insightful. This has come with lots of lessons; some adding more understanding to things I already know and others being new things unfolded. What I have learnt so far gives a clear cut on the best ways to deal with issues relating to the youth and the world at large of which I am inspired to share.
I have learnt that knowing and accepting the realities of Africa is one major leap in achieving the Africa we want and making the agenda 2063 a success. Through this, I have been empowered to come up with youth led innovations to help solve issues in my community, country, Africa and the world at large.
S2C has made it possible for me to learn about Design thinking which talks about designing for and with the user; a human centered approach in solving issues. Here, the solutions are developed with the user at the center therefore exploring what the user needs with that perspective. In doing this, one must have a clear intent and be disciplined. Empathy is also an important strategy in problem solving. Putting yourself in the shoes of your users and looking at things from your user’s perspective aids in arriving at the best solutions for any issue. This clears the presence of judgement and pays more attention to every detail and meaning of what the user says. It creates avenue for observation through dialoguing and emphasizes on normal environment circumstances. Some tools and techniques which can be used in this process include; interviews, focus group discussions etc. Safeguarding and protecting your users from harm, exploitation, abuse or harassment with appropriate measures is an essential study that can’t be overlooked. I have also had the chance to learn on insights (capacity to gain accurate understanding of something) and hindsight (retrospection or having a review of the past) in research which supports one in bringing about an effective, well designed and sustainable exposition or approach to a problem.
Being able to reason and socialize with likeminded young leaders from different parts of Africa with diverse ideologies towards the achievement of a common goal has been one of the intriguing activities I have done in my life. Sharing my thoughts and exhibiting my capabilities on a bigger platform as such has always been a dream come true for me in this journey. Taking up enormous challenges used to be a hard nut to crack for me in the past despite my ability of working under pressure and beating timelines but the trainings and motivation I had from my facilitators and colleagues has made me a Pro. The recent AYM that required that I spearhead the planning and implementation of all activities is one of my success stories in tackling thought provoking and laborious projects. I am currently working towards my upcoming project on Teenage pregnancy and I must admit that though it is challenging, applying what I have learnt have made the process easier and precise.
Through the creation of power spaces, YMCA has made it possible for us the youth leaders who had less capacity to lead nations to feel empowered and encouraged with all we need to know and do in achieving the Africa we want; a prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development, An integrated continent, politically united based on the ideas of Pan‐Africanism and the vision of Africa’s renaissance, A peaceful and secure Africa, An Africa with a strong cultural identity, common heritage, shared values and ethics and Africa as a strong, united ,resilient and influential global player and Partner.
Maame Aba Dodoo