Maria and Muhammad joined the GROW team and for six weeks, they are the teenagers’ “guides” in the journey of self-discovery. Let’s meet them!

I’m a person with a deep trust in the potential of each human being and so passionate about personal transformation and empowerment. I’m also really curious about the world and about the inner experience of each one, and so I trully believe in the lifelong learning concept.

I have several interestes and so I’ve studied and worked in some different subjects such as contemporary dance, archaeology, geometry teaching and, at the present moment, research in human evolution. For me, freedom, self-respect, well-being and wisdom are important values and so I hope to be able to conciliate them with my working life. I’m also passionate about books, travels, nature, yoga and people.

I’m from Portugal, more precisely from Oporto city. What makes me proud of my country is mainly its people, our genuine characters, our values and our personality traits. I think that in Portugal people are really open-minded: for us the questions of gender equality, minorities rights and freedom of though, of religion, of behaviour is very important. Maybe this qualities come from our past as sailors discovering the world and putting in contact people from distant places. Other trait is our pace. I really appreciate that we have time to have proper meals (at least one hour), to meet the others around us and to help anyone in need. For us, this real contact with things and people around us is important, and we give it value.

Other trait is our problem solving mindset, specially related to pratical things. I mean, if you have a portuguese lost in the middle of anywhere, for sure he/she will find a solution! We always find solutions for whatever! And at our table there is always space for one more! 🙂

Indeed, through this experience in Romania where I’m meeting people from allover the world, I’m creating a clearer image about what is the identity of portuguese people, what is the uniqueness of our culture. So, I’m realizing that meeting others is also a process of dicovering ourselves.

I was looking for a volunteering internship abroad for the summer and I decided to do it through AIESEC because it is an organization that is worldwide spread with a lot of opportunities in social and educational fields. On the AIESEC web plattform I found GROW Project but it was on its website that I had a more precise view of its values, objectives, way of functioning and curriculum. Indeed, as soon as I saw this website, I felt in love with GROW and I immediatly decided to apply.

My motivations to be a trainer in this project are really connected with the essence of GROW. I want to have an experience as a trainer, teaching and facilitating a non-formal education process about incredible interesting topics, such as personal values, leadership, team and project managment, critical thinking, etc. And while doing that, having a real positive impact on Romanian teenagers, as well as meeting a lot of new people from all over the  world.

My motivation to be a trainer is also related to the fact that in this project I would have an initial 5 days trainning to learn about presentation and facilitation skills to be able to conduct great sessions afterwards.

Furthermore, I think that the topics of the sessions are transversal skills important to every working field and also to have a more empowered life as an active citizen.

My expectations are that I will learn a lot, become more confident about my competences, have a broader cultural understanding, get to know Romania and its culture, taste wonderful traditional dishes, learn a bit of its language, meet a lot of interesting new people, get to know Romanian youth, their dreams and fears, be part of a proactive team, visit other cities and have lots of fun!

I think I will go back to Portugal as a different person, more aware of myself and my values, more able to communicate my ideas, with a new sense of what means to work in a team, with the skills to conduct a training, with a broader understanding of the world and its people, more enthusiastic about the future and about what is possible to do when a group of people have a common vision and work for its realization! I will go back full of wondefull memories and a bunch of people to hope to see again!

muhammadHi! I’m Muhammad! I’ll describe myself as an easy going travel enthusiast. My passion is travelling and exploring the natural wonders. I’ve been to almost all the major cities of Pakistan and met with all different ethnicities of my countries. I would consider myself a package full of all the good things that my country has to offer.

I’m from Karachi, Pakistan, a city which has more people than the entire Romania! I’m proud of my country’s history, its arts and architecture. I’m proud of it because I believe it is the most resilient nation in the world. It has survived so much like the war on terror and still instead of going backwards, it is going forwards one step at a time.

I found out about GROW from the promotions being done on a Facebook group. I found out more info by going on the website.  I was motivated to be a GROW trainer because this is my type of project. It involves presentations and teaching teenagers. I have a teenage sister who occasionally comes to me for answers to problems and consultations about her education. On the other hand, I study Business, so giving presentations is my strength.

I have a few expectations from this project:

  • Although I believe I’m good at presentations, I’m not perfect. Hopefully at the end of GROW I would have perfected my style of presenting.
  • On the other hand, I also expect to develop a keen sense of cultural differences and gain a lot of international exposure. My future job might involve dealing with international clients, so this will be a big bonus for me.
  • Lastly, I hope that this project will help me to become more organized and independent in my life. I have no experience of living alone or on my own and absolutely no experience living abroad.

I believe that after GROW I will be more aware of my own perceptions about the world. I hope that this experience will change me for the better. It should also help me to become more independent and confident in my decisions. And I also hope that this experience will help me to gain a more enlightened perspective on our world. I wish to understand the world and the cultural differences in a better light, by interacting with others, I hope to gain more insight into the way different people of different backgrounds think.