INTRODUCTION TO HOW I GOT INTO THE AFRICAN UNION YOUTH VOLUNTEER CORPS
Through a phone call of colleague in Rwanda in 2018 who is (AU-YV Alumni) requesting me to assist her in applying for the programme, it is through this interaction with the colleague, where l got to know about the African Union Youth Volunteer Corps programme at the African Union Commission in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. After my assistance for her to submit her application, l also took the opportunity to apply for the same program. Lucky enough both of us, we were selected to participate in the program. The African Union Youth Volunteer Corps (AUYVC) program is one of the African Union’s initiatives on the African continent for promoting youth participation, capacity building, youth mainstreaming, empowerment through service, and skills exchange, driven by the philosophy of pan-Africanism, and Youth Leadership.
In September 2018, l attended a fully funded pre-deployment training in Rwanda for a period of three weeks inline to above stated initiatives and philosophy. The pre-deployment training session where very interesting and proved to be very fruitful for my career path. After the training completion, I waited to be deployed in institution where my skills matched their demand. However in 2020, I succeeded for the deployment offer, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, l could not be deployed immediately. When the Covid.19 pandemic improved got the opportunity to be deployed at the AUC in the Directorate of Information and Communication where l have worked as an Archives Assistant from 4th September 2021 to 5th September 2022.
JOB DESCRIPTION IN THE HOST DEPARTMENT AND ACHIEVEMENTS
I hold a BSc in Chemistry and professional experience in Information and Data Management got from running a business printing entity. Tasks performed during my deployment in Archives Unit, included the following, scanning of documents to soft copy (pdf) format, editing digital images, extracting metadata and entering data into the standard Archives repository system, retrieval of documents Archives boxes for systematic scanning and filling back completed documents. I have contributed to the Archives digitization project from the time of deployment until the time when my contract came to an end. I have been working in collaboration with the Archives Unit staff and l have managed to extract metadata of the digitalized content for Council of Ministers Conference proceedings to a total of 1756 documents in the Archives Common Repository for public viewing at http://Archives.au.int
MY AU-YVC DEPLOYMENT EXPERIENCE
AU-YVC is the first international platform that I joined during my professional career as a youth. There was easy access to high-ranking officials like ambassadors, charge d’affaires, country representatives, etc., so one can network with them and discuss emerging issues. This also gave me an opportunity to network with other colleagues on the continent and I have learned crucial skills. I am glad to say that with the savings from the program allowances, l have been able to solve my family obligations back in Rwanda.
PERSONAL EXPERIENCE IN MY HOST COUNTRY
I have integrated myself with my host community, where I was able to meet with local youth for social gathering, networking, and attended some community events to share my experiences from my country.
My daily life routines was to go for work every day from Monday to Friday for the working hours from 08:00am to 05:00 pm. During weekends are days for rest interacting with colleagues and the Ethiopian community regards to cultural gatherings on foods and beverages sharings like beef, chicken, fish, injela, ugali, rice, potatoes, fruits, vegetables, coffee, soft drinks and alcoholic drinks, etc. I have loved the way different African people treasure their traditional culture, even though the Ethiopia comprises of many different international communities with different diversity in religions and languages etc.
I learned a lot of life skills like time management, prioritization, cultural and diversity tolerance, empathy, budgeting, taking on challenges, interpersonal relationships, effective communication, collaboration, and decision making, and problem-solving.
THOSE 12 MONTHS CHANGED MY LIFE AND MY PERSPECTIVE TO LIFE
It reinforced in me that as a young voice, I definitely matter. I was among the youngest in my department but I never felt side-lined. I felt like my voice mattered in every decision-making process and discourse raised. Because of my experience there, I strongly believe that the acceptance of youth voice will contribute immensely to the development of Africa.
WHAT I MISS ABOUT WORKING AS AN AUYVC
I miss that sense of duty, work and service, and the feel of delivering on my deliverables. I enjoyed my job. I also miss the amazing staff members I worked with. Most were older and as a youth, they were ready to teach me and constructively correct me. I miss living in my host country as well and the local youth.
I would like to thank the Youth Program Manager, Mr. Daniel Adugna and his team on behalf of Women, Gender and Youth Directorate, and the entire Information and Communication Directorate and the Archives Unit staff in the host organization, for their guidance and kind professional support throughout my AU-YVC experience.
By Mr. Silas MURWANASHYAKA (AU-YV Alumni)
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MASAMA EDMOND TCHINDO - 28 Oct 2022, 18:33
Great testimony sir and well done. I wish to be part of this volunteer program in order to vouch for this later. Unfortunately, I could not find the platform to apply and I have Finance Management and Accounting as a fields of expertise. Kindly assist me. Thanks.