A keynote at the close of Open Dreams Summer Academy (ODSA2023) in Bamenda - Cameroon, 27th August 2023
Congratulations, ODSA Batch of 2023, the Batch of Gratitude.
Thank you, Open Dreams, thank you, Batch of Gratitude, for choosing me as the keynote speaker at this august event.
Batch of Gratitude at a Thanksgiving Mass at the All Saints Bayelle Catholic Church Nkwen
I hardly find enough words to say what Open Dreams (OD) is all about, but I always have a summary for it. OD is a warehouse, a granary, a store of opportunities, a talent pool, and I am humbled day-by-day as I read and learn from OD’s teaching and empowering contributions in a distressed world. I learn of the contributions and achievements of gifted teenagers, young adults, and adults with different profiles such as Open Dreams prescholars, scholars, fellows, programme coordinators, mentors, community engagers, founder, co-founders, CEOs, partners, etc. They form the team behind the dreams; from bridging inequality gaps by winning scholarships and career opportunities to empowering communities, changing lives by realising dreams. For this network experience, I am grateful, I thank you. That you chose me to share my thoughts with the Batch of Gratitude is a striking coincidence, and I will tell you why and how
ThanK You is Timeless
Remember that ‘’thank you’’ is a synonym for gratitude.
Thank you is just a two-word phrase, but never too small or even too big to tell anyone anytime, as the multiplier impact is mystic: Thank you encourages one to do more; thank you soothes a troubled or doubtful mind and uplifts the spirit; thank you energises as it sparks unimagined renewed energy and commitment; thank you inspires hard and smart work; thank you is reassuring that someone is watching and seeing all the efforts made; thank you gathers and reunites; thank you is recognition, a polite expression of gratitude; and thank you is timeless (https://tyit.info).
So, Batch of Gratitude, this is the beauty of your name.
This year, OD has graduated 80 scholars from its summer academy, and the Batch of Gratitude, says it is grateful for Open Dreams’ ten years of community impact, grateful for ten years of networking, grateful for ten years of collaborations and partnerships around the world. We are in an age where our values are gradually being reversed; where parents listen more to their children than the children listen to them, an age where parents go out of their way, making untold sacrifices to show gratitude to sometimes ungrateful children, an age where parents thank their children for passing an examination, and rarely the children thanking them in return for the education they have paid for. Batch of Gratitude, to see that you make a difference in your generation, to name yourselves the Batch of Gratitude gives us hope, the hope that our values are not forgotten. Thank you for the power of your example.
Batch of Gratitude, your graduation from the Open Dreams Summer Academy 2023 is one more step towards the path of the future you dream of. So, keep on dreaming and keep open the dreams in hope and gratitude. In Open Dreams, there is hope: hope for the future, hope, that you have something, a reality to hang on; hope that when you fall, you can rise again; the hope that a dream is only deferred and not denied, hope that one win keeps one soaring; and the hope that when one moves, we move. Batch of Gratitude, continue living up to your name, be the beacons that light the path across time and space for others to see and follow their dreams, or make someone’s dream come true.
Batch of Gratitude, with Counselor Mani Queen - Bamenda
Once more, congratulations, Open Dreams, congratulations, Batch of Gratitude.