Follow Kukuh through his journey in Vietnam. Allow your eyes to open up and see what “all this” is actually about. And I can already tell you, it’s not just about you or me.
My story can start with me telling you that my exchange experience, taught me mannnny things. I could proceed to listing all those things one by one and telling you a bit about each of them. And this would probably not be the first time you’ve read something along those lines before, right? So rather than taking that, perhaps expected approach, I will break it down to one of the main learnings that stuck with me and how that connects with my entire story.
First, Some Factual Context…
Fact 1: For six consecutive weeks from December 2017 to January 2018, in the alluring city of Hanoi, Vietnam, I participated in a project. My project aimed to provide a platform for young people to discuss and share their thoughts on the current and rising social issues affecting Vietnam.
Fact 2: My job in all of this was to work in a team where I was responsible for creating content, sharing stories, hosting discussions and facilitating sessions (a lot of which was new to me).
Fact 3: For these six weeks, I lived under a roof with eight strangers, who later became family to me.
Fact 4: During the course of this time impact was made on SDG #4: Quality Education, on the lives of high-school and first year university students, and on myself.
“In order to grow, you need to be willing to leave your comfort zone” I am sure that I’m not the only person that heard that growing up. Consequently, these words stayed with me and guided much of my decision making in my life. So what did I do?
I gave in. The act of deliberately placing myself in challenging situations in order to develop myself further, although uncomfortable, seemed like a good idea. And it was. From facilitating sessions, to organising trips, to learning how to track a budget…I Was Challenged.
In a word, after making the conscious choice that it was time to challenge myself, something happened in return…
Though it wasn’t easy, I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity. All while being in an appreciative and supportive environment, I grew as an individual. And I am confident that the environment contributed a lot to my development. Hence why the other exchange participants, the organisational committee of the camp, the delegates are all to thank for the unforgettable experience I had. We together created the atmosphere in which we also thrived. In the end, I guess what I am trying to say is…
YOU GET WHAT YOU GIVE.
This is one of the main learnings I took away from my experience. I gave in. Looking back, being open to new challenges and learnings, allowed new doors to be built and opened for me. Through growing as an individual, I also connected with people, had an impact, and through the process, made memories to last a lifetime.
Fact 5: At the end of the day, I believe it’s not about gender, race, religion, political views, nations or even what kind of food you like. It’s not just about you or me.
It’s about US, humanity.
…those who commit to improving the world.
Fact 6: Through this experience, my strong belief in this generation, my genaration, was reinforced. We have the power to change something for the better. So long we start recognising the power small actions can have, and encouraging each other to take step towards impact.
Fact 7: I realised that sometimes great impact just requires small actions from several people.