A lesson I learned at an early age and one that I will hold on to for life is to “look out for the next guy.” A little over a year ago I had to make a decision whether I was going to pursue further education in the United States or come back home to Madagascar after not seeing my family for five years. Returning home seemed to be the scary decision of the two, yet the burning desire of making an impact in my home country made it feel like it was the right choice.
Here I am, a little over a year later: I worked with an amazing team and ran the very first edition of Camp Fihavanana (#CampFi2017). Getting to know these kids has been such a blessing to me in so many ways, and seeing the joy in their eyes during the college visit at ISCAM, Antananarivo (Institut Supérieur de la Communication, des Affaires et du Management) and a tour of the U.S. Embassy is an image I will never forget.
At ISCAM, they learned more about their personality types and majors that peaked their interests. I was greatly encouraged by their testimonies when they were asked how they felt about the visit and what they had learned.
The U.S. Embassy tour was very informative and opened the students’ eyes in unbelievable ways. USAID’s presentation on their work in Madagascar and the opportunities they offer in helping people encouraged the campers to think of possible projects that would benefit their communities.
I am extremely happy that these 30 amazing teenagers had this opportunity. Their reports from this experience make me believe that they received the push they needed to go further than they had imagined. Allowing them to expand their horizons to a more hopeful future. Today, I feel like I am definitely in the right path in making a positive impact within my community by assisting these students through “Creating Opportunity” and “looking out for the next guy.”