On the 26th of august 2017, I traveled to Kigali Rwanda for the African Regional Meeting which was held from 26 – 31 August at Lake Kivu Rubavu district Rwanda. I attended in the capacity of Youth delegate servas Uganda.
The conference was a success and thanks to the organizers from servas Rwanda and in particular Mr. Fidele Rutayisire for all the effort put in to make the conference a success.
The servas Africa Regional Meeting had an agenda that went as follows;
We visited Kigali genocide memorial grounds on Monday 28th August before travelling to the western province in Rubavu district Kigufi at Lake Kivu the venue for the meeting.
On Tuesday 29th August, the meeting officially began with a speech from the president of servas International in his absenter. This was followed by a gift session where members from servas India and Rwanda generously offered a gift to each one of us present for the conference.
There after we had presentations about Servas in different countries of national secretaries highlighted us about their country updates including an update on the Servas activities carried out, success stories, challenges faced, future plan and recommendations for making Servas a vibrant peace organization. The countries which presented include; Malawi, Uganda, Rwanda, India, Germany, Australia, Kenya, Cameroon as well as Tanzania.
After the presentations, we had training on how Servas online works and how to use it and everyone was encouraged to make use of it. This was followed by a presentation on how Servas can implement peace projects which was based on the experience of living peace in DRC.
On 30th, we engaged in group works looking for different strategies that can be adopted so as to develop and sustain servas in Africa. We also looked at an evaluation of Rwanda after the genocide against Tutsi and also looked at servas youth mainstream strategy and how youths can actively be engaged into servas activities of their countries.
On 31st, the last day of the conference, we looked out for resource mobilization strategies for African countries and how to grow membership in servas African countries. We also looked out for resolutions and way forward for servas in Africa.
WHAT I LOVED
I loved the atmosphere/ environment chosen for the conference along Lake Kivu.it a calm environment with nice and welcoming people (hosts). I also enjoyed the meals prepared for us
The conference was like an eye opener on my side. It gave me a bigger and clearer picture of what servas is and I loved the fact that I got to meet new people from all over the world and made new friends and contacts and got exposed to different cultures and ways of life of people.
I loved the organization and the strong focused leadership of servas Rwanda, being a new member country but with such a level of growth was an inspiration and something to look up to and learn from.
I also loved the unity/ solidarity among servas members. That despite our differences in cultures, races, religious affliction among others, servas members all acted as one big and lovely family.
WHAT I LEARNT
Servas Africa Regional Meeting was a great experience from which I learnt quite a number of things:
I got more exposure about the various activities that we can participate in as servas members and some of those include, blood donations, exchange visits, helping the needy through charity deeds, motivational talks etc.
I learnt of the different strategies that I as a youth can employ so as to sustain servas youth in my country for instance, face to face encounter, setting up a project to keep the youth busy and activity engaged,
In reference to Rwanda after genocide, I learnt that we should always put our bad past behind us and accept to move on when we get the chance to just as the people of Rwanda have harmoniously moved on regardless of the tribal differences
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
The whole world is a single family, when there is righteousness in the heart, there is beauty in character and when there is beauty in character, there is harmony in a home and thus in society as a whole.
I recommended that the great spirit and big heart of Servas International of supporting / sponsoring the youth to attend servas conferences may continue so as to give the youth an opportunity to attend and get exposed to the servas solidarity.
I take this opportunity to thank all those that made it possible for me to attend the Servas Africa Regional Meeting in Rwanda. First and foremost, I extend my gratitude to the leadership of servas Uganda for believing in me and giving me the chance to represent the country as a youth delegates.
I also thank servas Rwanda for accepting to organize and co-ordinate the conference and for availing us a conducive atmosphere for the conference.
However, greater thanks and appreciation goes to members of Servas Belgium and Servas Britain for having such a big heart of sponsoring the youth for the conference. I wholeheartedly appreciate that wonderful gesture and may the Lord reward you a thousand times more.
Plan to recruit more youths into servas Uganda.
Also plan to work hand in hand with the national secretary Uganda to come up with a project especially for the youth to keep them vibrate.
Youth delegate servas Uganda