In March 2013 our Founder went to India to represent both Me FiRi Ghana and the charity WAM Campaign. Read his experience below guys:
I arrived in Hydrabad airport, and was super excited! I got through customs very easily, I guess having a letter like this kind of helped:
I remember arriving out of the airport wondering where my ride was! Not because I felt above anyone, far from it, but because I was in another country with no idea where to go, what to say or how to interact as each country has their own cultural habits and ways of doing things! Eg. Go to Ghana and shake an uncles hand with your left hand and you’ll understand my point…
Yet still, the driver was running late but thankfully I bumped into Kennedy – my Kenyan born South African friend – whom I’d met from our trip to Davos. We were later joined with Hilda from Kenya; a true entrepreneur who inspired more than she realized!
The first week we spent in Hydrabad. This week consisted of a 5-day intensive business course where we were taught at the Institute of Business, one of India’s top post grad Development University’s. The sessions were amazing, especially the negotiation class, but to be honest, they were not anything too far off what I had learnt during my under grad studies, just a lil more technical; but there is only so much that can be delivered in 5 days. Saying this, it was still an incredible experience as the collective minds and intellectual thinkers of lecturers and students really enabled me to stretch my mind further.
During our stay in Hydrabed we got to visit the city’s Google head offices, the Ghandi centre, visit an Amazing Forte, go town and visit a few other spots.
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The most interesting experience was taking a took took aka rickshaw. Indian drivers are like Ghanaian drivers. The only difference is that they tend to not say anything when they nearly crash into one another (it is a bit too peaceful!), whereas it is quite the opposite back home…
From Hydrabad we flew to Dehli. During our stay here we took a drive to Agra (the city known for its leather products). We went here mainly to see the Taj Mahal and to visit a few other fascinating fortes and tourist spots such as the worlds largest film studios, Ramoji Film City!
This venue is in the guiness book of world records and upon visiting it I can understand why! The studio is family owned and is built on 1,666 acres of land. Whilst walking and being driven round all that kept going through my mind is “wow, or imagine if…”.
After seeing the film studios we went to visit an orphanage that Michael (one of the young visionary winners) was connected too. This was probably one of the best part of the trip. But to be honest, their circumstance was not what got me, but how they carried themselves and how they were still as cheeky as any other kid! Plus the boys were impressed with the size of my arms and asked me to flex my muscles quite often J
In Dehli we also got to work in groups with students from across India to conceptzulise ideas as to how we can integrate the youth community within India and the African continent. It was a fantastic experience, different people from different backgrounds, with different views and opinions coming together to achieve a common goal – now that is unique! I was so fascinated to hear other people’s opinions on how we could co-collaborate as a youth community.
Whilst at this event the Indiafrica team arranged for me to meet the Ghana High Commissioner based within Dehli. It was another interesting experience! Having met and spoken with the UK Ghana High commissioner on a number of occasions, I was intrigued to see what this meeting would be like! My initial interaction was rather interesting as one of the first questions I was asked was “So what did you read at school” the conversation then moved to discussions about what is hindering Ghana’s progress and the employability and issues regarding youth engagement! The conversation was rather stimulating, perhaps more so for him than me to be fair, as again it amazes me how unengaged those of influence are with the future, the youth. Anywho, at the awards ceremony I met one of the workers at the High Commission. A lovely lady, who in the past has also worked at the US High Commission. From our conversation I was invited to her place for some home cooked emuto and peanut butter soup. I lost my phone so lost her details; one lady who understands the vision. (Ps. If you are reading this please get in contact Auntie)
In conclusion, the trip was an eye opening experience for me and I hope this post can show you why. But this experience came about because I applied for an opportunity that many probably let pass them by. I guess having a dream and taking steps towards it is not so bad after all, so I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone, walk in faith and take proactive steps towards your vision too, as you never know what doors could open for you too!
Ps. At the beginning of the trip I was questioning myself a lot, asking why me, why am I here. But there comes a time when you just have to shut out all the noise from those around you and the questioning thoughts and walk in faith, refraining from questioning your position or allowing others to do so, but instead start asking yourself what can I do for others now that this door has been opened for me…
All Glory to God!