My wins and I am grateful

Mid-October, I was kind of having mixed feelings about where I am currently at. Some few rejections, some few wins, and after having a conversation with a friend. I did not know when I said “Why am I ungrateful? I looked back at all I have done this year and I am so proud and I am grateful. It is worth a journey to be proud of. I also asked myself why I felt that way. I noticed it was caused by stress and mental boggling that did not allow me to pay attention to what truly matters but about moving and moving. I also noticed I nearly lose myself helping others that I had forgotten to learn how to choose myself. This was one of the most honest and difficult conversations I had to have with myself and it led me to make some difficult choices which I would explain in another post. However tracking back to the beginning of the year until now, I am proud of a few wins;

1. One of the two organizations that won the Oxford-Rhodes Scholars African Impact Finance Initiative Grant of about 1,097,000 (£1500) to scale Skill2Rural Bootcamp to five states and adopted blended learning to cascade 21st century and life skills lessons to 200 children in rural and underserved communities. And we have reached 4 states out of 5 already.
2. Invited to attend the Pre-summit of Transforming Education Summit at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris and an opportunity to speak as a youth delegate to ministers and world leaders from different countries advocating for quality education with a focus on life and 21st-century skills.
3. At the same event, I had the opportunity to be featured in the World Bank #End Learning Poverty Campaign and called world leaders to prioritize basic education.
4. Invited as a guest lecturer by Open University in the UK where I taught MSc how they can use storytelling to communicate their dissertation to different stakeholders.
4. Worked as a Young Refugee Project coordinator with the British Red Cross and support at least 10 - 15 young refugees and asylum seekers every week to develop life skills, and increase their confidence and ability to learn English in an informal setting. I did this for 9 months at stretch and I am glad to see how some have started to aspire for a better future.
5. Increased my capacity at Refugee Education UK, where I get to coordinate the educational mentoring programme in both East and West London and watch some of my young people progress in their education through the support they receive from their mentors.
6. As a board member at Peace First, supported the transition to welcome new Co-CEOs.
7. As a member of the World Economic Forum Global Shapers, Edinburgh hub, got into the Climate Reality Accelerator programme. And recently selected and recognized in the Climate 75 list of the University of Edinburgh Alumni driving sustainability.
8. Published my book in Nigeria 5 years: 10 Lessons Life Taught Me. Had over 50 people in attendance at the Learn Event at the American Corner in Lagos. Sold over 100 copies and led to hundreds of thousands of sales in Naira and gotten amazing reviews.
9. Had a couple of features from the University of Edinburgh, Stories from Nigeria, Smooths Fm, Susa Africa, and many more.
10. Wrote over 20 Recommendation letters and it's inspiring to see a few outcomes of those.
11. Through KLCI, gave out 450,000 Naira grants to support teachers-in-training development in Nigeria and lead to innovation in solving educational challenges in underserved communities in Nigeria.
12. Presented at the University of Edinburgh Teaching and Learning Conference on the MasterCard Foundation “Identity in Transition” project where I worked as a Research assistant and contributed to the development of a booklet and toolkits to support African- international students' transition into Higher Education institutions in Europe and North America
13. Spoke at over 20 virtual and physical events driving youth and educational policy change in Nigeria and Africa at large + event that supports young people to develop personally.
At this point, there are things I can't even remember. From one on one consultations to the organizational impact we have made at KLCI and showing up for the causes that I strongly believe in.
Looking back, I am so so proud of the journey and I am grateful. Sometimes, we need to reflect to find the connections and keep ourselves in check and not lose ourselves and rest when it matters.
I bet you forgot that I had 4 twice.
Hammed Kayode Alabi (c) 2022
Caption: Throwback to this portrait it took at the UNESCO headquarters that I never get to share.

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