New International Intern Writes About Her First Week In Paynesville
Our newest international intern, Jessica Littlewood, shared with us some thoughts and feelings after her first week at the Be The Change Academy in Paynesville, Liberia.
My first week in Liberia has passed by incredibly quickly. The Be the Change Academy team has been rushing all over Paynesville signing up the last of the recruitment’s for the next cohort. The women we have met and recruited are so vastly different. Some were completing their bachelor degrees in agriculture but lacked any form of business or entrepreneurial training and see the program as an opportunity to develop these skills for their sustainable farming ideas. However, women with this level of education were very much the minority. Most of the people signing up simply responded with “I try” when asked whether they could read or write. We met a lot of women that had never had any kind of formal education and could only sign the form by drawing a line, as they had never been taught how to spell their own name.
I enjoyed getting to know these women a little better as I filled out their application forms with them. Most were very cheery and looked forward to the opportunities that the Be the Change Academy could offer them. The same cheeriness is felt everywhere that I have traveled here so far, everyone saying hello to one another, and coming up to shake your hand. I have not quite mastered the Liberian combination of the handshake and click yet, but I am working on it!
It’s a nice change to have the sound of children playing and laughing be heard everywhere you go, rather than the trains and trucks that I am used to back in my home city in Australia.
I look forward to my many weeks to come in this warm, dusty and incredibly friendly place.
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