From Where I Stand – Part II

May Pwint Shin, Burma
After returning to my country, I was able to participate as an interpreter and secretary in two workshops with Scout Movements. The workshops were on Developing Membership Registration Systems and Drafting National Training Systems and were held from July 11 to 19, 2016 in Yangon. They were jointly organized by the Myanmar Scout Organization and the Scout Committee of the Asia-Pacific Region. The participants were Scoutmasters, Adult Leaders, and Rovers from all over the world. I got a chance to participate in both workshops and it was my very first activity as a Myanmar Scout because I missed a lot of chances while I was out of the country. By participating in these programs, I was able to practice my English as all instructors are from different countries so everyone uses English to communicate. I had a chance to get to know leaders of scout organizations from different countries and was able to advance my knowledge on Scouting. The thing I am proud of the most is being able to help develop and advance the system of the Myanmar Scout Organization. It can be said that all those who participated in these workshops helped write some very important parts of the organization’s history and I am so glad and proud that I was a part of it. This is the coolest thing I have done so far after the end of Global UGRAD program and I believe I will be able to contribute more to society in the future.

Asel Kaldybaeva, Kyrgyzstan
In this photo, my feet are in my lovely motherland Issyk Kul Lake, Kyrgyzstan. Here with my group mates we are implementing a project of the World Bank and IFC. The goal of our project is to raise the financial education of local people. We are providing surveys to understand if people are taking loans and how it helps or harms them. Then we apply our theoretical knowledge to consult them to use loans in a smart way. Inefficient use of loans by rural population of Kyrgyzstan is becoming an economic burden. We are enjoying this project not just because of our small contribution to financial awareness of people or getting a bit of insight knowledge about financial situation of our country, but also because we have a wonderful time on a beach after work. Each of us are so different like these beautiful and unique stones, and Global UGRAD united us together in one lovely journey of a lifetime. I believe that, gradually, we will together solve issues like the lack of education similar to what we are working on currently.

Mariela León Thomas, Costa Rica
My feet have beenwalking in the sky since I came back from my exchange program, and I can no more continue saying that they’re just in my beautiful piece of paradise, Costa Rica. My feet are still leaving footprints all over the world, staying in contact with all of the amazing people I met as a Global UGRAD and as a student at the University of Evansville. I’m working with my former classmates of Physical Therapy at a therapeutic clinic we opened as we’re advanced in our degree program. Personally, I’m working on a social project for my home community, Limón. We are working to develop a Facebook page called Zoom were we can make a positive impact in youth through zooming in on the stories of other young people who have decided to make a difference with their actions. Parallel with the impact, we are looking forward to receiving support from organizations and government entities to expand the opportunity for positive experiences and resources for this population that for a long time has been surrounded by negative influences such as violence, drug trafficking, and school dropouts. I hope to have the support of all the good friends I met from all over the world to expand this positive trend all over our social media.

Zedi Zhang, China
After experiencing the voluntary work in the U.S. and a whole semester’s worth of discussion with people from different countries, I became more determined to continue to study and work to strive for equal rights for children suffering from unfair treatment in the international community. Therefore, I will be studying international law at the Beijing Foreign Studies University. Hopefully I will have the chance to go abroad again to deepen my understanding on this subject. Step by step, I never and will never forget what the guest speaker said to me about her endeavor on promoting a better society with her NGO work during our Washington workshop. I believe I will be as good as her!

Fatimetou Abderhamane, Mauritania
I am standing right now inside the Ministry of Education, seeking a scholarship to continue my studies. During my experience in the U.S., I learned that education is the key to success and an important pillar of it. I want to be successful and that is why I am hungry for education.

Johanny Waleska Amaya Melgar, Honduras
A new life was awaiting for me when I came back to my country. It felt as if it was a new me. Indeed, it was a new Johanny, with new perspectives, and a greater desire to make an impact in the lives of others. Guala is the name of one of the new projects I am involved in. Alongside three Global UGRAD alumni, we are working to impact the lives of people of all ages, people who do not have their hands. Guala is working to provide them with a 3D printing prosthetic hand, which will allow them to get closer to the life they used to have if the limb had not been lost by accident or illness; or, it will bring them closer to the life they never had if they were born so. I am also working on the structure of a project I would like to implement in my country: a program to empower orphaned children and youth through learning English and developing leadership skills. My life as a Global UGRAD participant was changed, and now is time for me to spread that change and impact the lives of the people in my country.

Khaliunaa Naranbayar. Mongolia
After spending one wonderful semester in the U.S., I returned home and I did not come empty-handed. I brought with myself confidence, passion, a positive attitude and a multicultural perspective. With everything I learned being a Global UGRAD, I further push myself to work hard and succeed. Since the exchange, I have successfully completed my internship at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia in the Department of Public Diplomacy and Communication. I was selected out of over 3,100 applications to participate and represent my country in the 7th Model ASEM in Ulaanbaatar. In addition, I became the scholarship recipient of the National University of Mongolia for the 2016-2017 year. From where I stand, I see a long and prosperous path ahead of me. From where I stand, I realize I have myriad places to discover, people to meet and goals to achieve. I am truly grateful for Global UGRAD program for bringing me where I stand now and I will forever reflect on my Global UGRAD journey.

Kenneth Tling, Burma
After Global UGRAD, my hometown welcomed me with a long monsoon. I am now continuing my studies at my home university. I will be a senior next month. I am currently interning at the Chin Human Rights Organization. It is a great environment and with inspirational works that coincide with my interests. I shared my Global UGRAD experiences with my peers and community. They are surprised that I changed somehow; they say I’m much more mature. I was inspired to speak more languages than before, so I am learning Spanish and German right now so that I can communicate with my Global UGRAD friends. I am planning to promote ethnic languages in Myanmar for inclusive education. I want to work a project for ethnic minorities’ rights and bilingual education. And of course, I miss my U.S. moments and all the good friends I met.


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