Anita Wilson and Annalisa Marks (Project Ambassadors, UG)
Anita: Working as a Project Ambassador for One World Youth Project has opened many doors for me that I never envisioned before and, more importantly has helped me to develop skills and interpersonal skills which I believe will take me a far way through life. When I first signed up to be a PA, I was somewhat clueless about the organization and the work that they do in promoting interconnectedness and relationships across continents. I was quickly exposed to and able to meet and converse with persons in countries such as Pakistan, which I had only heard about on television or in the news. I am also honoured that through this programme, I have been given the opportunity to be an ambassador for my country, sharing details of our rich culture and diverse backgrounds with the friends that I’ve made both far and wide.
Annalisa: One World Youth Project has offered me the chance to find passion about something new in life. After signing up for this project, I instantly doubted myself; could I actually teach secondary school students every week for what I considered a long time?
I soon found out that being an OWYP Project Ambassador is extremely different from what I believed it to be. The experiences are real, the students are knowledgeable and the content of the curriculum is relevant to many of the things we face in life.
My experience has been rewarding for the majority of the time I spent thus far. Yes there are a few challenges, but this can be expected when working in the real world. By becoming a volunteer with OWYP, I learned more about my country’s culture and was able to share this with persons from the other Universities participating in this project. I gained skills to aid in me being a facilitator, a teacher, a role model and to some extent a friend to those in my class. This experience has also allowed Anita and I to strengthen the bonds of our friendship, as we learned to support each other when needed and to seek advice when necessary. In instances where my strengths were tested, it was good to know that my PA partner was just a phone call or message away or that we are in this together.
Annalisa: Working with such a large number of students is challenging at times. A few students require constant attention and means of discipline. We have yet to find a disciplining strategy that works well for all the students so we improvise at time at take turn addressing classroom issues.
Anita: It sometimes poses a challenge to keep everyone engaged, however this is a challenge which Annalisa and I have accepted and somehow seem to conquer week and week again.
Most exciting moment:
Anita: The most invigorating moment for me thus far was to be greeted by a loud round of applause when returning to the classroom after the two week Easter break. At that moment, I was filled with pride because I believe that was the students’ non-verbal way of applauding the work we do. At that moment, I was proud to call myself a Project Ambassador with the One World Youth Project.
Annalisa: As Anita mentioned, it felt great to be greeted by applause when we returned to the classroom after the break. It is difficult for me to choose a single most exciting moment, but over the past two week I would say my most exciting moment was when the students sat silently and listened to our perspective story, “Moral Fiber”, and afterwards were able to relate and make constructive comments about the content of the story, showing that we were indeed making an impact in their lives.