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  • Open Dreams

The YALI Fellowship: A Catalyst for Innovation and Social Impact | Precious Andin

As a participant in the YALI Cohort 48 on-site program in Accra, Ghana, I am filled with gratitude for the transformative experience that has ignited a flame of empowerment within me.

From the moment I stepped into the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration hostel, where all YALI participants were hosted, I embarked on a journey of self-discovery and leadership development. Through thought-provoking sessions, I gained a deeper understanding of my core values, passions, and purpose. The concept of "Knowing Purpose" resonated profoundly, generating the driving force behind my actions and aspirations.

Each YALI participant was required to specify in either of the three tracks: Civic Leadership, Business and Entrepreneurship or Public Management track. Specifying in the Civic Leadership track provided me with invaluable insights into the effective management of civil society organizations, both in times of stability and crisis. 

The program also fostered a network of like-minded and innovative individuals, with whom I collaborated to organize a program commemorating World Menstrual Hygiene Day 2024 at YALI. This initiative empowered both men and women with the knowledge and skills to produce reusable sanitary napkins, addressing a critical need in our communities.

Beyond the learning experience, YALI facilitated our exploration of Ghana's rich history and culture. Visits to historical landmarks like Elmina Castle, where slavetrade was profound for over 500 years ago, and natural wonders like Kakum National Park not only broadened our perspectives but also instilled in us a deep appreciation for resilience and the boundless possibilities that lie within us.

Uniquely, Cohort 48 offered coaching and sign language sessions. The sign language classes introduced me to the basics of communication with hearing-impaired persons, who were also participants at YALI. This reminded me of the importance of inclusivity and looking beyond one's disabilities.

As I return to my home country, Cameroon, I carry the YALI values of professionalism, teamwork, and innovation close to my heart. I am committed to sharing my experiences with emerging young leaders and fostering creative impact in the field of menstrual health.

A heartfelt thank you to the generous sponsors of the YALI program, USAID, Mastercard Foundation, GIMPA, and all those who made Cohort 48 a truly remarkable experience. Indeed, we will work together to ignite a flame of development that will continue to inspire and transform communities for years to come.

By Precious Andin'23, YALI fellow Cohort 48, Open Dreams Scholar

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