On my go abroad experience, I went to New York and Pennsylvania for a 16 days’ programme in which around 360 international change makers from more than 80 countries gathered to develop strategy to tackle United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. I spent 13 days on Indian Head Camp at Pennsylvania where I worked in teams of 14 changemakers from 10 different countries to tackle SDG 1 No Poverty. The program ends with a day of conference at one of the United Nations General Assembly room. Another reason was to further improve my knowledge of the world’s most pressing issues and to search a purpose for my future career in which I can contribute in making the world a better place.
Since it was my first time entering the US, I was worried and excited at the same time about getting around New York and the camp and meeting such a diverse group of people. One particular thing I was worried about is the cultural differences where a normal act may be considered inappropriate in other countries such as hugging and other minor acts. I was also worried not to form great friendship because the program has so many participants, however, I was wrong. With such a diverse background, it is so easy to find similar minded people and get exposed to new people.
I learnt so many things of different cultures, ranging from Cameroon to India. This helped me to gain a real insight in what is actually happening in other countries rather than what the media and stereotypes have presented us. I also learnt the value of networking where having such an international network of people who are more than happy to share their culture and home with you means more opportunities to travel around the world. This made me realised that I would like to work in an international team in the future because the diversity brings in a lot of perspective and opinions on the table.
Around 360 change makers from 85 different countries at Indian Head Camp
My team tackling the United Nation Sustainable Development Goal 1: No Poverty at Indian Head Camp
My team before giving a pitch at the United Nations Headquarter in New York
The Merit 360 program, which brought together 360 youth changemakers from 85 countries to discuss the ideas of tomorrow