As an ALI fellow for two weeks now, I feel that the program so far has absolutely changed the way I perceive the issues around the world. I believe that as an activist of building peace, this journey is helping me and the 7 other fellows shape our thoughts and beliefs for the world as it is, and how we want it to be in the future.
So far, we have encountered different leadership trainings in which we learned about dealing with conflict, policy formulation, and about our value to life, our true purpose as human beings. Throughout this period, we have had the opportunity to share opinions and as I am witnessing this, I keep realizing that our differences and similarities are making the program even more meaningful. I realize that during these moments, we are connecting our thoughts and coming to conclusions that help us make better decisions for the future: as individuals, and as contributors to enhance our communities. Never in my life have I thought that the culture of Kosovo would so nicely affiliate with the cultures of Ethiopia, India, or Pakistan. At the same time, I see that the differences we have are teaching us various kinds of methodologies to put into action for solving the conflicts in our communities.
During the program, we are also engaging in different activities that are helping us develop our skills and spiritual being even more. I must mention our visit to the United Nations in New York. Ms. Margaret Peggy Kerry (NGO liaison at the US mission to the UN) provided the tour and insight. Having Ms. Kerry share her experience was an eye-opening and an exciting moment. Later on, we had the opportunity to be part of ‘The Rachel Maddow Show’. Not only did we have the opportunity to be present in the show, but we also had the honor to personally meet and converse with her.
Having been a part of the Rachel Maddow show was one of my favorite experiences so far in the program since during the time of the show, she demonstrated dedication, true passion, confidence and an admirable commitment. And by seeing her, I was truly motivated as a woman, as a peace-builder and as an individual with goals to make a change in the community.
Some of the takeaways from these experiences were: Always go for the job you truly, truly love and see yourself in; work hard; and give all your effort on being the best you can be, without forcing it. I believe that this experience and advice, has amazingly grown my dedication even more towards a brighter future for myself, and attaining my goals.
The optimism I have for the program is strengthening its state every day. The excitement, satisfaction and commitment that I have would never be as present as it is without my friends here from 7 different places of the world. Together, we are going to present a policy memo to the State Department in which we tackle important issues of our respective countries. Additionally, we will also be working on our individual capstone projects which we will implement when we go back to our home countries.
Consequently, by the end of this program, we are going to continue being the believers and the optimists for development, and together, we truly are the future change makers.