The most notable, welcome, and lasting impact Seeds of Peace has had on me and my life is an openness. Openness to people, openness to ideas, openness to failure and its lessons and of course an openness to solutions. Like many Seeds, I joined the organization and attended Camp for the first time expecting to become a stalwart champion of my region and the philosophies it espoused. Instead, Seeds reinforced in me a bend towards critical thinking—a need to be convinced.
How have you impacted your community?
I am an educator, and each day I teach my students to reject fear and hate and to develop a capacity for critical analysis. I speak to students about how an open mindset can permit us to hold our own ideas, and at the same time make space for the ideas of others. I am helping to educate a generation of global leaders that believes in overturning old norms.
The most inspirational place I have had the privilege of working has been at the African Leadership Academy, an institute training the next generation of African leaders. The Academy discusses its mission on a 50 year timeline; to even begin planning for transformational change we have to really push back our horizons. Being a part of this project at its inception has offered me some really exciting insights about the importance of building culture and constructing institutions. I have carried that over into my recent return home, where I see exciting prospects of this transformative moment through a particular lens. The region and its people are changing rapidly these days, and this is a pivotal moment for us to lay the foundations for long-term commitment and capacity for peace.
• BA, Harvard University, 2009
“I left Camp with a realization that the world is bigger, more complex, and much more human than I had previously understood.”