September 8, 2017  |  

A view from Nigeria

Global Gathering of the 3rd Cohort of Change Agents organized by the World Alliance of YMCAs has provided about 150 youth from about 50 countries of the world an opportunity to meet, interact and relate. Bringing together a relevant mix of cultures, experiences and knowledge on a platform of sharing and communication, this has charged the environment so much so that the ambience is saturated with new experiences and learning’s.

From the moment we all arrived, there has been learning experiences from the workshops and sessions but also from the interactions and discussions with the various Change Agents and World Alliance Staff from across the world, these have proven to us that though change is not an easy thing to achieve, it can be broken down into simple smart steps that will set us in the direction towards achieving greatness and localizing the experiences means that we could set Africa on the map for progress.

The sessions have been rich and impactful with some of them being handled by our very own Secretary General of the WAY and other staff of the WAY and fellow Change Agents, sharing their knowledge, experiences and programmes with the entire group through various workshops facilitated by them. We also had an opportunity for Community Engagement where we went into the nearby community shared as small groups and given a variety of projects to handle which included renovation (cleaning, clearing bushes and painting) of a fountain, cleaning a beach, cleaning a chapel, clearing a hike path among many other projects. This gave us pride at the end of the activity to know that our little contribution was well appreciated by the community and we have been able to start effecting change Globally, in lands that are far from ours.

We recently had the opportunity to visit the Portuguese Parliament, apart from the beautiful aesthetic building that houses the Parliament, discussions with some of the Parliamentarians also took place, with the aim of extending the awareness of the YMCA among them and hopefully garner support for the YMCA, its activities and values.

This Global Gathering as at today we still have some days to go but the learning experiences as so much, just cannot imagine how charged one will be at the end of this gathering to move my community towards greatness which in turn will move my nation and in turn move the continent to eventually change the world. Also, using the YMCA as an essential tool for change, I believe that the change I so much yearn for is possible.

Written by

Zinta Istifanus Akpoko

Nigeria