MEET LEONITA MICHEL
JCI Greenwich- The New Adventure
I heard about JCI through my friend Richard Ntege early 2017. After seeing what JCI stands for and see what they are trying to do, immediately I was sold and decided to be part of it. Joining JCI, particularly JCI Greenwich, made me feel not only at home, but in a place where ideas can be shared and for things to happen.
Peace Summit- Journey
I must say, when I first saw the Peace Summit advertised, I was a bit discouraged because at the time, I did not have the finances to go until my friend Karen Lobo, who is part of JCI Greenwich, encouraged me to go. I applied for the JCI sponsorship and was filled with all kinds of emotions. But thank God in the end, I had the opportunity to make my journey to Malaysia, a journey that I will forever cherish.
The emotions intensified when I booked my tickets and accommodation. I couldn’t stop looking at pictures of Malaysia, particularly Kuching; I was simply just excited and grateful to God to have the opportunity to make my 1st international travel to a place I have never been before and be able to explore.
September 3rd 2017 marked the day I made my way to Malaysia, Kuching. I and my fellow JCI member Lucy Collins were given the opportunity to represent the UK for the whole of the Summit and we were part of the Peace Summit [European representative of course that were going to the peace summit as well] whats-app group which enabled us to get to know other fellow JCI members across the globe which was absolutely amazing. The day I arrived I was filled with so much joy, but also amazed by the hospitality of the people in Kuching. Their mannerisms, the environment just reminded me of being in Africa, plus the weather was so hot as well.
During the summit, I was just in awe by the amount of beautiful, conscious and world changers there were. I never would have imagined that I would one day see so many people from various country in one place. I really was overwhelmed. Seeing speeches like President Goodluck, encouraging us to make a difference to the American Journalist RICHARD LUI giving talks about rights really inspired me to get out of my comfort zone and really put my ideas into fruition.
The Peace summit was an ideal place for networking and sharing ideas. The environment really got intense, not in a negative way, but in a way that we really focused on the things we want to do for our community and JCI members were really supportive and encouraging. Due to the amount of time we spent together, we all became like a big massive family and every activity we took, really got us all closer. Being part of the “Peace on Our Planet: Is it Possible?” Panel discussion hosted by Richard Lui, as an observer, really gave me an insight of factors that could hinder peace. It enabled me to understand people’s perception on peace as well as what it takes for peace to manifest.
Though there were so many workshops and session we had, the one that I really liked was the had i.e. “Conflict Resolution sessions”. In that session, we were given the opportunity to do group activities by which each group were given question such as “What are important skills or abilities one needs to be able to resolve conflict” to “Why is relationship building critical for conflict resolution.” We were able to have discussion and get a deeper understanding on the definition of conflict as well as seeing ways a resolution can come to place, when a conflict arises.
When we had the cultural night, at the opening of the Peace Summit, seeing everybody dressed in their cultural attire, really presented what peace is about i.e. unity with different culture. The event was mind-blowing as we were greeted by traditional dance of Malay and it was just magical. Every minute, every second was worth it. There were so many traditional attires that I have never seen before and it just made me thank God for culture. It made me appreciate them even and building this passion of promoting culture in a positive light, with the aim to change people’s perception towards people and their culture. And with the closing of the Summit, we all participated in the concert with musicians such as EMMANUEL JAL, PHYU PHYU KYAW THEIN and TENNILLE AMOR all amazing and powerful Peace Activists really took the stage and got us all in the groove. We were all filled with so much joy and the Summit really was a success. And I still wish the Summit went for like a week, it was just too awesome!
Peace is Possible Project
JCI Greenwich gave me the opportunity to become the Peace is Possible Project Leader 2018. With the experiences, I’ve already obtained from the Peace Summit, did not hesitate to take that role. The concept of the Project I’m currently planning is going to be a Panel discussion that will cover themes such as: race, identity, religion etc. regarding culture difference i.e. misunderstandings that could lead to conflict. The aim is to enlighten people about factors that would have to be taken into consideration when dealing with people from a different tribe and tongue as well as find solutions on how we could combat these conflicts. Culture plays a huge part in our daily life and when do not understand ourselves and know who we are individually then how are we going to understand each other and be united. Humans yearn for relation and in order for that to be successful, we need to develop an understand of each other.
JCI- My Vision
I envisioned 2018 to be a year of growth and opportunity. With JCI UK having lots of events, workshops, trainings and projects set in place, I believe will have a major impact in the community. With International events such as the World Congress taking place in Goa, India, will be an event not to be missed. Makes me want to reminisce Malaysia all over again and hopefully I will be able to go to the World Congress.
I feel that more opportunity for me will definitely be an occurrence, with being the Project Leader for the Peace is Possible Project, really gets me excited and curious to see what else this year has got in stored for me.
With so many ideas, I am grateful that JCI offers a platform for me to showcase it and be creative.
I yearn to develop my skills, to learn new things and to be a confident person without fears of really making a difference. This year is a “go getter” attitude and I plan to exhibit this attitude all year round and even more years to come.I want to encourage you that whatever you have got in mind that you want to do, take the leap of faith and get out of your comfort zone.The only way to growth is when you decide to do the unthinkable. You will be surprise of how much that will change your life.
Be a go getter, be confident, be great and be you!
Thank you for reading the blog and I hope my experience encouraged you and inspired you in getting involved with JCI.
JCI Greenwich Peace is Possible Project Leader
Get in touch by email: email@example.com!
If you would like to be involved in the Peace is Possible project please do get in touch with Leonita. If you have a project idea that you would like to be heard please get in touch with Sylvia Namaganda our Projects Director on firstname.lastname@example.orgTags: Be a World Changer, GoBeyond, International Peace Summit, JCI, JCI GREENWICH, JCIUK, Peace Is Possible
This post was written by Mary Mambwa