Once I was Young with a vision and full of ideas and thought solutions to world problems were easy. Today I am still young, with vision- ideas but now I know it will take time, effort, work and resilience to get the change we want in this world.
I always wanted to “Do” something to help the world but it was after meeting youth like me that inspired me that “I Can”. Their - stories, interest and passion was something I took with me. It was never the success stories that stuck to my mind and still motivate me – it’s the stories of challenges, problems and courage that do. Stories of a young girl whom I met in a peer educators training. Towards the end of the training she got up and I wondered “Is a participant going to facilitate a session? - what will she tell us?” She took us through a story that was emotional and at the end she said “I am HIV+”. Above all feelings of sadness, hurt, wanting to hug her I felt proud of her – with all the challenges she faced in her life she is still working for her community. During another meeting I met a young girl from Indonesia – her story brought tears to many of us. With tears in her eyes she talked about the experience and the feeling of losing her parents. She was not alone in losing loved once in the 2004 Tsunami but her courage and resilience is motivating – she worked for her community with the relief efforts after.
“Youth are the leaders of tomorrow” I hear - Why can’t we be the leaders of “Today” I say. Since 2003 I have been working on taking steps to contribute locally and internationally. Much of the steps include Online - Editing Newsletter, writing articles, participating in discussions, focal point, etc. Today I am working for an organization doing fund-raising issues. Other than my local work; I am also a Mentor and Motivator for a programme called OIYP which helps 300 youth to work on social change by giving them capacity building, grants and building networks. Much of the support we do is through online (E-Workshops, etc) and building a network like this shows individuals that they are not alone in what they are doing.
I first came across VOF was in 2010 – after reading through is when I had decided that in the 2011 round of applications I will try it out. It takes you through a different process of learning and it is exactly what I needed. This process will help me put my vision-ideas-plan into productive practical action. I want to learn video/documentary making and improve my photography and translate that to educate and ignite thought in my minds of people (locally and internationally) through pieces of media work. And I believe VOF can be a valuable experience to better myself.
Small efforts done by many bring about big changes – starting small is what I believe inVoices of Our Future Application: Your Journey and Vision