In our Sponsor A dreamer program we like to hold different seminars and counseling session with our participants to help them find the encouragement and tools that they need to continue on their educational journeys. During these sessions, where we attempt to inspire the young students in the program, I usually find myself being the one inspired by their commitment to their dreams and their deep understanding of what it takes to chase after them in this culture. I wanted to share some of their responses from recent interactions so that you may be inspired from them as well.
During one seminar, we asked them, “How do you define success?”
Roberson, a 30 year old in Economics, stated, “I’m not the one to say when I have achieved success because I think true success is when other people start to look at you and say that you’ve accomplished something great. It’s when younger students begin to look to me as a role model and then I know that I’ve set an example for success. But if I can’t inspire younger generations and others around to better themselves as well, then anything that I may achieve for myself is in vain. It’s only success if it spreads beyond myself.”
Serge, a 29 year old Agronomy student agreed that success cannot be easily defined. He told us, “I can set goals and I can even achieve those goals. But that cannot be defined as success because you can’t stop there. You can only succeed if you never accept that you’ve succeeded. You always have to go further. Each time you think that you’ve reached your goal. Go further. Keep going. Climb higher. If you ever say, Okay, I’ve arrived. Then you’ll never really succeed. Success has no limit. It is a constant journey always pushing to go further.”
We also asked them “What fears do you have in pursuing your dream?”
Yvette, a 29 year old woman studying business management, replied, “The only thing that we have to fear is God himself. If we don’t have the fear of God within is us, then we will never make it where we are trying to go. He is the one who created us and if we do not put our complete trust in him, then we will not realize our dreams. But we have to realize that he gave us such dreams and goals for a reason and we have to have the determination to do whatever it takes on our part to achieve them.” Then Yvette gave us an example. “My dream could be to make it to Ridore (a town about 5 kilometers up the mountain). But if I don’t have the money to pay a motorcycle,” she said, “I have to be willing to start walking. I have to put my complete faith in God that he will get me to Ridore, but he’s not going to transport me there magically. I have to be willing to take those steps if that’s what it takes.”
When Daniel, a young man of 22 years who is studying Community Development, responded to the same question he said, “I don’t believe that
we can have any fears at all. There are already too many obstacles in our way trying to keep us from our dreams. If we allow ourselves to fear anything, then that fear just becomes another obstacle. Society already places plenty of obstacles in front of us, if we have fear, then the biggest obstacle of all comes from within us. We have to be confident of what is inside of us and move forward sure of our direction.”
We recently held another workshop with them to help them develop their creativity. During which the guest leader, Melany, told them, “You can’t be afraid to fail. If you have an idea that you think might be good for your community, you have to give it a try. If you fail, so what. You’ll get another chance. But if you succeed, then everyone will want to follow you.” The next morning, Kesnel, a 27 year old studying agronomy, came to me and said, “Melany was right, Lee!” I asked him what he meant. He explained to me, “This morning I woke up at 5:30am and I got on my motorcycle and I drove to Mirbalais (a community about an hour and a half away) to visit a group that has a sweet pepper nursery. For a long time I’ve been thinking about how my zone, Terre Blanche, could be a great place to grow peppers and have wanted to start a nursery there for the community. I know that it could help a lot of people make an income because peppers are very desired here and sell for a good price. And I know that our soil would be ideal for growing them. But I have never taken the steps to get it started because I was afraid that it might not work. No one’s ever done it before it and I didn’t want to fail. But this morning, after hearing Melany speak, I decided that I had to give it a try anyway. So I drove to Mirbalais, a picked up a bunch of pepper seedlings, and now I’m going to go start a pepper nursery in Terre Blanche!”
This is what Living Media is all about. We’re not about economic development, medical work, or agronomy, but by doing programs that encourage young adults to become strong, creative leaders that are passionate about following their dreams, we don’t have to be about that other stuff. These dreamers are going to make it happen.