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Connecting leaders across the Serengeti

Written by Mike Ogweno of YCCM, partners with East Africa Youth in Action 2014

Jambo Afrika Mashariki na Dunia nzima! Wait, did I say that? I thought my Swahili was good enough until I stepped into Tanzania. My first Swahili sentence here is a good indication of how fast and progressive, learning has been in this respectful and peaceful nation. Before this wonderful experience, I would have purportedly started my small note as ‘ Habari East Africa and the entire world’.

This could have not been easy without the very passionate, talented, adaptive, dedicated and smart team. We called ourselves ‘Kundi Kidogo’ meaning, a small team. Personally, I regard the team as perfectly small and with the weight of a herd of elephants in terms of Leadership, ideas and achievements in our community service both in Kenya and Tanzania.

Because we are not alone in this world, much of our learning about ourselves comes from our interaction with others, I wish to appreciate Operation Groundswell through the able leadership of Meg  and my namesake, Mike for having included Young County Change Makers in this process that has enhanced multiple meetings with different potential and resourceful contacts in Tanzania. It is very rare to find such opportunities and as a leader, my capacity has been greatly enriched. Being surrounded by respectful team and community members in Tanzania indeed revamped my motivation too since it made me realize that, there are still a number of people who will respect you for ‘who’ you are and not just for ‘what’ you are. This for sure, will keep me glued to the realization of the YCCM dreams no matter what happens.

Generally, playing a part as a team member was another great experience to learn from our two leaders. Their ability to successfully coordinate the team right from project activities, feeding, housekeeping, fun times and still being able to handle individual member and personal needs, was an outstanding trait that I strongly admired. Therefore letting go of my leadership attachment, opened my mind and made me benefit from the team’s unique viewpoints. I consider my life better and wealthy now, not because I have more but because I learnt more.

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