Greater things always start small. If only the future could tell what it holds…
In December 2015, I received an email from the MTV Staying Alive Foundation that our organisation – Bakashana, from Zambia – was one of the eleven lucky ones to have been selected for an MTV Staying Alive grant. My heart was full of joy!
A couple of weeks later, MTV Staying Alive invited two members of our organisation to attend their 10-day capacity building training, to be held in Pretoria, South Africa. I was so excited! I started to count down the days left till our departure.
When the day of departure was finally there, my colleague Claire Albrecht and I took a tiny airplane from Kasama, a small town in northern Zambia where we are based, to the capital Lusaka. Two days later we continued our journey to South Africa. On the plane I was wondering what the training would be like. I was going to meet people I didn’t know from different backgrounds. When we reached South Africa, we were picked up from the airport and driven to the training venue. There, we were greeted by the MTV Staying Alive team and the trainers from Restless Development. Their beautiful smiles changed the atmosphere – I felt so good.
When we started the training welcome session I felt a bit anxious. I was so nervous meeting new people and I wasn’t sure if I would be able to keep up with everyone as I never attended university. A part of me said I wasn’t worthy of being in the training. However, the trainers were so enthusiastic and loved my colleague Claire and I. Everyone just boosted my confidence.
The training has enabled me to be more self-motivated and communicate effectively with my fellow members of staff for the glory of our organisation. But not only that. This was the very first time I had travelled to another country and met so many people from different parts of the world. On our rest day we visited the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg. It was one of my favourite moments, because it taught me a lot about the history of South Africa. Furthermore, the evening before we had organised a Cultural Night, whereby each organisation shared something from their country with the group. It was so nice and funny and you could just feel the love.
MTV Staying Alive’s training was one of the greatest things that has ever happened to me. Opportunities like these are rare and I call myself lucky for having been part of such a great event where everyone was so nice, loving and caring without any strings attached, regardless of our status. I was able to form a foundation of friendship with everyone involved.
On behalf of my organisation, I express my heartfelt gratitude to the MTV Staying Alive Foundation, Restless Development and my fellow grantees for the love and help given to us during the training and that is still continuing now. You are the definition of love and loyalty. Keep doing the great work you do, which is touching many lives, for I know that our work will be even better and more effective thanks to you and the powerful training we had. Thank you so much. You are the best.
Are you interested to find out more about the some of the work Ceciliah and her organisation do and the environment they are working in? Then click here to read more.