Making the difference
Ever asked yourself what it takes to make a difference in this world, society, family and or friend circles? And ever heard of the saying “we all live to serve." And that by helping others we fulfil our own destiny?
Well, meet Alex Kambanda, a young man who just finished high school and simply lives his life according to Gandhi’s wise words: “A small body of determined spirits, fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.”
Youth Quest: Tell us, how do you do it?
Alex: Many people believe that you'd have to be Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Theresa, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, and the likes, to do something for your community but the truth is, every one of us is put in this world to contribute something, big or small and actually one of my biggest lessons is that small things can have a big impact, it just needs to be something you do with your heart and out of love, just doing good.
Youth Quest: Wow… what would you say has been your major inspiratio
Alex: I think I am generally an ambitious person, and have always had a dream to do something; my own contribution in developing Rwanda and changing its image worldwide.
At first, it was just an idea. I didn't know what to do about it but then it hit me; -Building hope for my fellow youth and showing them that they have a brighter future, irrespective of what the past might have been, it can't be a means to predict the future but a means to create it. And that’s what I decided to do.
For example I organize and help putting up arrangements like Fundraising concerts, that help raise funds used to visit fellow youth that have different needs, collect items, foods, clothes and even visit youth-headed homes and families of those left behind by the 1994 Genocide; even just visiting them and having fun together is important. We also visit young children that are very sick and are living in hospitals. Even for upcoming artists we help organize concerts or link them with producers to release or record their new albums. It's all about what you can help with; it doesn't have to be big. Only letting them know that they are not alone, that we care and think about them; that they have some people that are their fellow youths that think about them, love them and pray for them. It makes them happy and they also fit in the Rwandan Society. And together we make Rwanda a better place for all to be and achieve a bright future.
Youth Quest: Do you owe your skills to any one in particular?
Alex: I think
I just have it as a talent, and can be very good at Marketing and sales (laughs)…
Seriously! Am good at mobilizing big numbers, my convincing communication experience can only be natural... (Laughs).
I think I also owe my skill to Walk to Remember. I have been a member for quite a time, I think since 2009. It is a good activity that has inspired me so much especially in fighting for peace and unity. The fact that it's organized by my fellow youth just makes me love it even more; it has helped the Rwanda youth to take action against genocide and its negative outcomes. At the same time it has contributed to the healing of many Rwandans’ hearts that were wounded in the 1994 genocide, and I am confident to say it has led to unity among Rwandan youth, am proud of it. I had to make sure we had it in King David Academy before I left... I did my high school there
Youth Quest: So now that you are no longer in high school, what are you doing or planning for your vacation?
Alex: I am now organizing debates and talk
shows with my fellow youth in high school and non- schooling youth. The talks and debates are aimed at promoting freedom of speech, unity, and peace all to release the hearts of many and will contribute to the healing process in Rwanda’s youth.
I also plan to continue organizing fundraising concerts and funds to visit orphans, needy children, games and basically anything that I know will contribute to their happiness and remove sorrow.
Youth Quest: Any word of wisdom?
Alex: Hmmm… let me see,
Well, peace and harmony are the only true medicine to human suffering, and degradation.
So I can only call upon my fellow youth to stand up and fight for peace so as to live happily as one. Peace is a journey of a thousand miles and it must be taken one step at a time. So let’s use all possible means as Rwandan youth to strive for peace not through wars but through love, and it starts with one simple step of reaching out to someone. If you don’t know where to start JCI-Rwanda, Never Again Rwanda, and better yet Walk
to Remember, are great places to start, they provide development opportunities that empower young people to create a positive change in their lives and Rwandan society at large.
I would also encourage my fellow youth to become entrepreneurs rather than becoming job seekers. There are various opportunities in the world, they only lack youth that are determined and focused.
Alex Kambanda is 19 years old, and a product of the Never Again Rwanda (NAR) Youth Initiated project.