Friendship and the Gift of Self: How I have grown in WYA


As I write this, I’m lost in a sea of emotion. I look back at how far I have come, and how much growth I’ve experienced, and it feels unbelievable. I’m overwhelmed by how fast time has gone by.  The events that led to my application for this internship at WYAA seem to have been so randomly placed.  I would have never guessed it would impact my life this much.

My stay at the WYA Africa regional office has allowed me to experience what an office setting is,  how to conduct professional work in a structured and systematic manner, and how to interact better with my colleagues and those around me.  This has been such a great learning journey as well. I realize now, that before I joined the program, I hardly had any idea as to what human dignity is about, and how it literally touches on every aspect of our lives.

I have met the most amazing, intelligent, kind, and funny individuals. The interns I have worked with during my internship have been the best part of my six-month stay here so far.  They have taught me so much about teamwork, acceptance, generosity, and have shown me such wonderful friendship; I am forever indebted to them.

I am a completely different person in comparison to who I was when I came here.  The day I met Leila, is the day my definition of what love is, changed.  We became instant friends. My colleagues were so convinced we had known each other long before we met at the office. We sat next to each other in the office, and have been a duo since. Leila is the definition of unconditional love. She has the purest and kindest of hearts. We are kindred souls that, as cliché and absurd as it sounds, have known each other even before we physically met. She elicits in me the most familiar feeling whenever she’s around me. Almost, like a mind reader. I’m so grateful to have met her, to see human dignity through experiencing such a wonderful friendship, understanding the gift of self from Leila has been an amazing journey.

The Certified Training Program we undertake has become a lived experience for me. The chapter on why we struggle as human beings for instance really spoke to who I am as a person. I have always known that my purpose on earth is to work with people and for people; especially to improve the lives of the needy in our society. WYAA’s approach is to appeal to the individual’s reasoning.

Chapter two of the CTP made me question who I am as a person. What can I offer to the people I’m so passionate about helping? There’s a saying that talks about how people can only meet you as deeply as they’ve met themselves. This for me is a challenge to look inwardly, to face all that comes as a result of it, to change what needs to change, and to build on my strengths. This is the only way I can help anyone else. This internship has been a great personal journey, one that has completely broken me out of my cocoon.

Written by Cynthia Wangari, a Batch 1 2017 Intern at WYA Africa Regional Office.

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