My one year Experience as a Regional Manager and Peace First Fellow-in-Residence

I spent 1920+ hours, 52 weeks, 240+ days reading and responding to 1300 + project, supporting 150 + social innovation projects and distributing Tens of Thousands Dollars of mini-grant to young people in more than 30 + countries in the Peace First Sub-Saharan Africa community addressing Education inequalities, climate injustices, health inaccessibility, sexual and reproductive health rights, etc




And what I have learned within the last year, is the power of trust. I have lived in distrust for years that no one would trust me with their funds to get things done but in 2018 Peace First proved me wrong when I received $245 + coaching + tools to create Skill2Rural Boot camp and showed me the power of what a mini-grant can do. I noticed there were so many young people like me who needs these resources and to democratize it, I applied and joined the first class of the Peace First Fellowship-in Residence. I learned to build trust, we need to trust people first and young people showed all of us the power of what they can do from Duke in Kenya empowering over 500 youths to demand good governance to Favor and Adah from Nigeria and Zambia providing access to books for children in rural communities.



Young people are challenging the norm, they are responding to crisis, they are defying the odds, they are creating an Africa where time is lived and not rushed.
As I leave my role today as a Fellow-in-Residence! I can’t be more proud to say I was a better person than I was when I joined last year but to say that I represented the voice of young people, I added smile to more faces and I created an army of young people who will not just be a bystander to see things happen, young people who will make things happen. I led a partnership with the YALI Network Lagos and convened the SexForGrades Youth dialogue and brought young people together to provide a solution to the injustice where university lecturers exploit students for marks. I created the first community-building event, the peacemaker's hangout, and successfully organized two of them in Kenya and Nigeria. I build a young volunteer mentor program to support young people within the region and I can’t just be more proud of the journey. I made friends for life as well as my colleagues Mohammad, Sushmina, Josiane, Tahmid, Mariano, Oluwaseun, and my supervisor Fish and I mean I received the best recommendation for grad school from him. I can’t just imagine myself missing Tuesday and Thursday Fellows-in-Residence meetings.
I strongly believe in the vision of Peace First that young people are the most powerful resource to create change right now and I saw it, live it first hand.
I am moving into the next phase and I will be joining other crops of young people through the MasterCard Scholarship to study Africa and International Development at the prestigious University of Edinburgh (Scotland) and I can’t wait to learn and deepen my knowledge as I continue to learn how I can democratize opportunities for young people within the Africa Region.

Hammed

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