So, before diving straight back into my day to day life post -
The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Gold Event (IGE) South Korea: Leadership for a Transformed Award, I thought it was incredibly important that I sat down with my own thoughts and emotions to truly see what my role as an individual was going to be from here. How was I going to take all that I had learnt, the experiences I had gained and transform them into a feasible action plan for myself as an individual but also as National Director for the Award Programme in Turkey?
I decided to write down questions about what I thought the whole IGE experience meant for me. It felt that IGE 2014 was asking some very vital questions : How as individuals within different nations could we come together as a solid team to become the positive leaders
/ change makers in the world? How could we use the Award and the concept of non-formal education to create a constructive impact on society locally and globally? More importantly how were our Award holders going to become future leaders and changemakers? Because they needed to be...
Through learning about the theoretical aspects of team work and leadership and further working together practically within a team we were able to see first-hand the challenges that a small group of multi-cultural individuals could experience when given a single task. Our task was simple: to prepare a 10 minute presentation based on our entire IGE learning experience and linking it back to the Award.
We were separated into groups based on the 9 impact measures of the Award. I was placed in Group 6 (Group name: 길라잡이! (Gillajab-i !) Lead the Road!). We were to explore impact measure 3: Health and Wellbeing. I was thrilled when I learnt about this as I have a personal interest in issues of health and well-being. We were taken to Healience centre where we took part in various activities such as yoga and meditation and learnt about 4 habits of individuals that need to be changed for creating a healthy body and mind: eating, exercise, biorhythm and mental habits.
Throughout our 2 day field visit at the Healience centre I further realised that in this world of ever growing technology and bombardment of information (Remember the Did you Know? video ) we sometimes forget to just sit and take 10 minutes out of our day to be just with ourselves, breathe, meditate and reflect. The simple act of breathing can help release Serotonin (nicknamed the happiness hormone) and allow us to think and act more clearly.
So what did this all mean? Why was it that IGE 2014 had been a life changing experience for me as an individual?
After our visits together we came together to prepare our presentations. As a team throughout the IGE we had formed, stormed, normed and finally were ready to perform! . Everything came together as we got on stage held hands and shouted our group name: Gillajab-i ! We had made it; we had managed to overcome our differences, come together as individuals and a team to successfully carry out our task. It was incredible to watch that all the other 8 teams had done the same. The presentations were not only touching, they were living proof of the Award’s positive impact on society. I saw what we as a global family were capable of achieving; the potential of the Award on bringing about vast positive change worldwide.
After saying goodbye to my new friends (I confess: I was crying a little) and boarding the plane, it all hit me quite hard as I came across a quote in a booklet that had been handed to me at the Korean Magazine Fair in Seoul. It was a booklet discussing Buddhism. One particular sentence struck out at me. This was it I thought!
‘A great revolution of character in an individual will help achieve a change in the destiny of a nation and further, will cause a change in the destiny of all humankind’
It seemed clear: if we were indeed so dedicated to changing the world to make it a better place we should also be dedicated to taking care of ourselves - as it is through a healthy body, mind and attitude that we can maintain the positive energy needed to become tomorrow’s global change makers. By leading by example, by leading through serving, by ‘talking the talk & walking the walk’ we would truly be able to ‘Lead the Road’ to a better humanity working together as a global team regardless of age, gender, religion, race etc.
Finally, one particular quote struck out for me at the IGE: ''Multiculturalism: a society at ease with the rich tapestry of human life''. I realised that we all have our part to play by ‘thinking globally and acting locally’ in order to maintain this rich tapestry of human life – by bettering ourselves as individuals and working together we are capable of much more. One presentation put this thought across so clearly by ending with the African Proverb: ‘It takes a village to raise a child’; as one of our friends also added to this quote: ‘it takes a nation to build a generation’.…
Whilst building though please do remember to breathe! =)*
*There are many guided meditation videos but here are a few to get you started:
10 Minute Meditation music
10 Minute Guided Meditation
A big thank you to The International Award Foundation, The Korean Award family, The Korean National Youth Centre, The Korean Ministry of Gender Equality and Family, the International Council, The International Award Trustees, all the volunteers, and finally the Award in Turkey for giving me the opportunity to take part in this IGE - It was truly an unforgettable and lifechanging experience.
Onwards and upwards!
Interested in international development, humanitarian work and activism through art, literature and music. Singer/Song-writer/Guitarist.