My name is Gorreth Maria, I am 22 years old and from Uganda. In 2016, I spent six months in Zimbabwe as a YESS Participant.
Before the exchange, I had never left Uganda, or even owned a passport! The YESS programme trip gave me a reason to dream big, and now I know that good things and a bright future are ahead of me.
In the past, I’ve had bad experiences, where it seemed like I couldn’t do anything right – but because of this exchange, I am now able to see the best in myself. I know now how important it is to have faith in myself and not to depend on others to determine what I’m able to do. I have a completely different mind-set. Now, where others might see a problem – I see potential or a possibility.
I wish every girl and young woman had the opportunity to be a part of this programme.
During this exchange, I learned more about Girl Guiding and how important it can be in girls’ and young women’s lives. As a YESS participant, I managed to connect and grow with other girls and young women from different countries. I wish every girl and young woman had the opportunity to be a part of this programme.
I feel more alive when I see other young girls sharing this experience, so I want to encourage other girls to be part of WAGGGS programs such as the YESS Girls Movement. The programme is life-changing; in my six months living in Zimbabwe, I have seen myself learn, experience and change.
Now that I’m back in Uganda, I intend to continue appreciating other cultures. I want to bring the hospitality I was given in my host country home.
Since the exchange finished, I’ve returned to school and I'm pursuing a diploma in Journalism and Mass Communication. No matter what, I will be continuing as an active Girl Guide.