Stepping out of my comfort zone

COP17 delegate Esther Ellie Amakyi from Ghana describes how attending COP17 pushed her out of her comfort zone and taught her about teamwork, diversity and speaking out.

EstherIdentifying myself as part of the delegation of young women representing WAGGGS at COP17 meant a lot to me, and it’s still a great privilege. South Africa had been my dream place to be since childhood and my family will testify to that.

Little did I know the great “sisterhood” I would find there. "Home away from home" was what I called it. Esther Ellie Amakyi is my name, I am a 23-year-old young lady from Ghana, West Africa, and a member of the Ghana Girl Guides Association. Meeting 16 wonderful young women from all over the world was a blessing and nothing else. I got so close to my new friends as if we knew each other years before. Belonging to WAGGGS through my Membership Organization (Ghana Girl Guides Association) has brought me this far by shaping me to be the woman I am. 

Working as a team

Working as a team was one of the great ideas we had. During the first week, myself and the other girls planned to draw the COP17 logo on the wall of the Fairfell Guide Center in Durban. This was to remind others who will one day visit  the centre about our presence. 

We made our own permaculture garden, shared ideas and helped each other through COY (Conference of Youth) and COP. My experience back at home was a thing I gladly spoke about to my new friends and others I met during COP.

EstherAttending side events and finding myself in the media and actions team was indeed an amazing opportunity and being assigned to lead the action was spectacular. Being assigned the role of leading the rest of the group to act and the Young and Future Generations Day (YuFuGe) was one of the most amazing moments. This action was later requested to be performed infront of the plenary by the SBI chairperson.

At the end of my stay in South Africa I had learned a lot, especially when I stepped out of my comfort zone to adapt to the environment and diversity. The different cultures, the advocacy lectures and study and extra knowledge from different countries made me very glad to be part of the 2011 delegation to attend COP17.

What I took back home was to make my voice heard much louder and to make my voice heard with my girls back home. I have acquired enough knowledge to pass it unto to the Brownies, Guides, Rangers and Young Leaders.

On behalf of my girls and myself: “Girls worldwide say: climate justice now."