In what ways has South Africa Challenge changed your outlook on life or world view?
SAC was my first international trip and it has made an impact in my life in such a way that I feel much more confident in myself and I realized that this is the time to do extraordinary things and to grab each and every opportunity and make the most out of it!
Honestly speaking, I have started appreciating life more, valuing things more and just being really really grateful for the life I'm living! It has really hit me while visiting the local communities in SA, because when you are on the ground, things are very different from what you most probably see on the internet or in magazines. It really made me feel that I don't really have problems in my life and that I should stop complaining about everything!
On reflection, what did you learn about yourself, others, or South Africa?
I would say that I was already aware of my strengths, but I was not able to put it into practice due to lack of confidence and proper guidance. The SAC was such a platform that pushed me to work on it, work on myself, put myself into real situations, for example speaking in front of an audience alone (OMG yes I did it!), and I received proper feedback, motivation and support, whether from the team leaders or the participants!
It made me do things I never thought I would do. Concerning SA, I would say it is full of surprises!
Which parts of the South Africa Challenge did you enjoy the most?
How AMAZING, LOVING AND SUPPORTIVE the participants were! It was exceptional! I had enjoyed the morning coaching session because it really made me feel confident, I was able to express myself better, improve my communication skills, work on my English speaking, and feel motivated to tackle the day.
I have enjoyed all the activities as well- the boot camp with the participants, late night running, the few dancing sessions, to name a few!
I have been always super excited whenever I heard that we are going to visit places or going for souvenir shopping and also without forgetting the mesmerizing sunrise and sunset we got to see!
How do you think South Africa Challenge will influence what you do in your future? Has it already influenced you since returning?
Definitely, it has made me become unstoppable. What I mean by that is I want to work on myself continuously, and I feel much more confident! I keep looking for challenges and wanting to do something in life which will make me feel proud! I no longer feel afraid to step out of my comfort zone and 2 weeks after my SAC, I had taken part into another program! If I go one year back, I could never have believed I would have done that much! The key when you returned home is to continue to work on yourself and keep looking for challenges!
What would you say to future participants?
I would say that it is very important for you personally to keep challenging yourself and accept the challenges you face.
Try to keep in mind that you are meeting different people from different backgrounds and cultures. Go and speak to someone if you are not liking certain things!
You know yourself better! If you feel that you need a push, you need someone to keep telling you to work on your project, you need a little pressure, or you do not like how people keep telling you things, So be it. It's completely fine. Speak with someone who you are comfortable with because that's how you can improve on yourself!
Take feedback seriously as well as give honest supportive feedback to others!
Try not to force anything on yourself and if you feel that you are not able to open up in the first few days, that's completely fine and normal! It will eventually get better! You are going to be okay and make it fun!
If you had to summarise the South Africa Challenge experience in one paragraph, what would you say?
I would say It is a program that you can trust because once you returned home, you will notice that you had actually improved! Just make the most out of the South Africa Challenge, you will be left inspired, motivated, feel more confident and maybe have a better way of looking at things.