Hey everyone! I’ve had an amazing time these last few days, each day has literally been jam packed with activities and the experience has been priceless. This post is all about the wonderful time I had in Ouagadougou or as the locals call it, “Ouaga” (pronounced Wa-ga)!
Day one: Dec 15th
The day began with Toyosi and myself getting our first flight to Togo where we had a 4 hour stopover and we also met – Majid Michael!! He’s a very talented actor in Nollywood and is practically a legend, so it was super cool to meet him and guess what? He’s even nicer in person!
We then went over our IFMSA ( International Federation of Medical Students Association) presentations whilst we waited to get our flight to Ouagadougou, we knew the next few days were going to be hectic – and truly they were! We caught a couple selfies in between work though 😉
We landed in Ouagadougou around 7 and thanks to our ECOWAS passports, we didn’t need a Visa 🙂
The Local Organising Committee of the IFMSA African Regional Meeting (ARM) had sent people to pick us up and take us to the Christian guest house where we were going to stay – they were super friendly.
After a lovely dinner we had a little meeting with the different representatives from across Africa to brief us about the next day’s activities 🙂
These were the first few days of training, l registered for the Training Old Trainers Workshop and met a group of lovely people which then became my IFMSA ARM family :))
Our training covered topics such as team building, strategic planning, quality assurance and evaluation, and so much more – we left the course feeling a lot more capable of running training sessions and it was awesome 🙂
This was the first day of the ARM itself, and I had been delegated the task of giving trainings on behalf of the Standing Committee on Human Rights & Peace’s (SCORP) Regional Assistant as he unfortunately couldn’t make it. At first the idea was very, very daunting, but I had help with a few sessions and in the end it went extremely well 🙂
My participants became my SCORPions 😀
On Day two I headed over to SCORA (Standing Committee on Reproductive Health including Aids) and gave a presentation on GBV – Empowering men to Empower Women. I had the participants do role plays of different scenarios where GBV is expressed – it was awesome 🙂
I also gave a presentation on IFMSA Programs in my capacity as the Program Coordinator for Gender Based Violence, to the general populace at the meeting, which was to educate them on what programs are exactly, why we have them and how to participate in them.
(For further info you can mail my official IFMSA: firstname.lastname@example.org )
The last training that I gave was on Project management – and my partner was the lovely French speaking Julie (when we first met we had to communicate via a English-French dictionary haha, but by our training day she had taught me some more French and I had taught her more English, we worked so well together 🙂 )
We also visited the House of Parliament where we presented our Ouagadougou Declaration – the theme of the ARM was Climate Change and its effect on health, so on the last day of the meeting we presented a document stating how we believe African leaders can aid in solving the problems caused by climate change.
It was whilst I was there that I learnt that the people of Burkina Faso once impeached a president and have made a rite out of the event by singing the national anthem when bringing down the flag at the end of an event, as a symbol of how the power belongs to the people.
But it wasn’t all work – we had social programs every night so we literally worked all day then played all night haha; I’ve had limited sleep but I’ve enjoyed the experience completely!
All in all I had an amazing time, met awesome people, and gained invaluable skills that will serve me for a lifetime 🙂
If you’re interested in being a part of IFMSA (as you should be after seeing just a tip of the iceberg in this post) please feel free to message me!!