ALONG THE WAY
by APIWAN, ESI2015 SPRING PROGRAM
IT STARTED WITH CURIOUSITY
There are several factors deeper in my family history and community I grew up in that address my concerns about social problems. When I was in kindergarten, I wondered why my sister passed away at very young age. When I was in primary school, I wondered why one of my classmate had to leave school. When I was in freshman year, I wondered why my close friend had to prove herself twice or thrice than male candidates in order to climb up the career ladder. I keep asking questions and trying to ask other as well. I was surprised that everyone knew what was going on and they knew that the situation’s getting worse, but most of them tended to ignore it
Regarding this problem, I see ESI as a unique program that provide necessary foundation for young changemakers to take their baby steps and empower those....who keep asking questions and try to solve them
ESI cultivated a seed of encouragement inside of me, then watered it with empathy. I was asked to share what’s driving me forward. This question forced me to do some thinking as that was the first time I looked within to know better of who I really am…to recognize for the origin values of myself. And when I can understand myself, I easily be able to put myself in someone else shoes.
After that, the seed of empathy began to sprout, ESI strengthened the tree of mindfulness with creative problem-solving skills. Many challenges during the program offer us an opportunity to take risk. To take risk for me means to let yourself fail or to do something you thought you couldn't. It can be uncomfortable at first but after all the things, you will learn, grow up, and get tougher
If I can choose one thing that I especially love about ESI, it would be each one teach one concept. You not only learn from VIA staff and guest speakers, but you also learn and get inspired from your peers. Culture difference is not an obstacle at all when we all came here for same reason...to make contributions towards re-shaping the future of our communities. I met so many amazing people here. Some have become my close friends(and we promised to visit each other's country!) Apart from inspiration and confidence I gain, it’s a friendship that’s priceless