As you read this, I will probably be in Malawi or Zambia. It is important to remember these two countries as they are part of this short story. Ok, just remember one – Zambia.
When I left Zambia, my home almost 7 months ago, I was immensely excited about going to the US – greatest country in the world as they like to call it, and significantly the opportunity of a life changing experience the fellowship was offering. I was excited at the idea of living and working in Washington DC and taking the metro to work (just like the movies. Haha).
Unbeknownst to me, this opportunity would enable me to travel back to Zambia, conduct research in Nigeria, attend meetings in Ethiopia and train the most exciting and enthusiastic young men and women on programme implementation in Malawi.
So, Zambia. Heading back home for a brief stint has made me reflect on this experience thus far, and ultimately pushed me to put my thoughts into words. Here is a few…
Host organization: Promundo is a global leader in advancing gender equality and preventing men and boys in partnership with women, girls and individuals of all identities. Serving here as a Research and Programs Atlas Fellow at has been a dream. I am honored at the trust shown and support given thus far. I have tremendously improved my skills and knowledge.
Networking and Partnerships: I have met the brightest and most dedicated young social change leaders through the Global Leadership Lab Immersions and other opportunities provided by the fellowship. I have built significant sustainable alliances through fellows and I have no doubt the future is safe and secure!!
Relationships: Several attempts at romantic ones have been bad. Haha!! On a serious note, I have built genuine relationships within and outside the fellowship. I have met people that I can call friends. These are people that have been the proper support system during my stay so far. Gregory David Robert said, “A man trusts another man when he sees enough of himself in him.” Special shout-out to Ikenna and Chris (Nigerians huh?), I know I have brothers in you. Auwor (SF), Rabecca (NY) and Chilo (Boston), you are definitely worth a mention.
Dear reader, if you think I am calling the Atlas Corps fellowship perfect, then you have clearly missed my intention. Like many things in life, the fellowship comes with several challenges, however, seven months into the fellowship, my successes outweigh the challenges, my happiness outweighs the sadness, my wins outweigh my losses…see where this is going? Anyway, this is the attitude of winners!
To close this off with the title of the post. I have nothing but gratitude, so, thank you Atlas Corps, (Staff, Fellows, Alumni) for this amazing opportunity. The past months have definitely been a joy ride and am looking forward to more!