In Youth 4 Global Goals: The Series Season 2, sponsored by PwC, 10 young people went across the globe on an AIESEC Global Volunteer experience to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals. Read the story of Cynthia Kamau from Kenya, who went to Egypt to contribute to Sustainable Development Goal 9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure.

What do you do when you want to enrich your life but don’t know where to start? This is the question I constantly asked myself as the year 2018 passed by, as I wanted to do something more with my life. I wanted to find my true source of energy, my passion. Then I went to Egypt on a Global Volunteer experience, where I discovered exactly that….

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What do you do when you want to enrich your life but don’t know where to start?

Because I love technology and this is what I study, it was clear that I would want to volunteer for Sustainable development goal 9, Industry Innovation and infrastructure. In this way, I could make a contribution as a volunteer in an area I know, but also learn a lot of new things!

I arrived in Egypt on 1st September 2018 where I was received very warmly by the staff working at the project, where I was Global Web Designer.  I was instantly very excited about all the interesting things that they were doing because of the impact it made to people doing business in Egypt. The company I supported as a volunteer has as a main focus to help people in Egypt with businesses running their daily activities more efficiently using technology.  This resulted in the company working with a wide range of software and IT solutions; an amazing opportunity for me to learn a lot about a lot of new things!

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I found my true passion which is creating software to help people from all walks of life to live better lives!

During my 6 weeks stay there, my mentor helped me learn a lot by challenging me with a lot of new tasks. I not only got an opportunity to learn how to create sales, inventory and human resource management software but also understood the life cycle of software in an organization. I learnt how to communicate better with people and some Arabic as it was the main language spoken there. I am now more confident with my skills, I understand the importance of teamwork as we all have our weak areas and how to work with deadlines. Above all, I found my true passion which is creating software to help people from all walks of life to live better lives and to do cumbersome tasks easily.

Besides work, life in a new country was challenging for me in the first weeks. I had never travelled far from home; the temperatures were very high and there was a language barrier. I was afraid of what was ahead of me. However, being great starts by being fearless, and being fearless starts by having faith and letting go.

Being open minded made my life became easier and more enjoyable. I learnt to make new friends easily, which was not my nature and ended up having friends from Egypt and from all over the world. Some of them were experiencing the same things I was, and they were helpful in terms of showing me life hacks.

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Meeting people who live there was an eye opener and a great opportunity for cultural exchange.

Before this experience I did not know many countries in the world. I had so many stereotypes about places I had never visited before like Brazil and Bahrain. Meeting people who live there was an eye opener and a great opportunity for cultural exchange. It’s like I met half the world in one place. I’ve learnt to appreciate and respect people from different religions, race and culture because there is a reason as to why they are the way they are. And there is beauty in diversity.

I also appreciate a lot of things that I took for granted before like the rain or walking on green grass. I realized that it is of the small joys and little pleasures that the greatest of our days are built. After this experience, I have become a better person, I am more patient, I can communicate better with people, I acquired a lot of life skills and I believe that I can survive anywhere in the world. My new goal is to travel to every corner of the world and see all the great things I saw in photos and heard in stories.

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Being great starts by being fearless, and being fearless starts by having faith and letting go.

Would you like to know more about my journey? Have a look at Youth 4 Global Goals: The Series! Would you like to live an experience like mine as well and create an impact for the Sustainable Development Goals? Sign up and become a Global Volunteer yourself!

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