My name is Hoody Abdul Ballah Kargbo and I’m a student from Sierra Leone.
Growing up, I always felt like I wanted to make changes in my home country. I grew up as a young person that liked (and still does) watching inspirational videos by motivational speakers. Those videos have ultimately inspired me to think of social issues that are important to tackle in order to help others in need. As a result, I am now one of the initiators of a project called ‘Inspiration4her’. With this project, other students and I want to motivate girls in Sierra Leone to follow education and chase their dreams. You could say that we have become the motivational speakers I used to watch, because we want to persuade young people to take action into their own hands.
Before I got to the point of organizing such an important project, I was still thinking about what I wanted to do for my future. It was at the age of 17 when I decided to leave Sierra Leone to become a student of the United World College in Maastricht. It took some persuasion of friends and family to actually make that big step, but upon hearing about their experiences I finally decided to apply and I am glad that I did. Before, and also during my time here I have learned that young people like myself face many difficulties along the way and there can be times where you think you are unable to do something, however, with practice, patience and persistence you can definitely overcome challenges. The UWC experience is a test that can seem hard, but at the same time it is incredibly rewarding. The academic workload can be quite intense, though I am grateful for the UWC experience as a whole as it has brought out the best in me. Not only have I seen what I am able of doing on my own, but also in cooperation with other students that I have met along the way. I am glad that I have been given the chance at UWC to meet many people with different backgrounds and from diverse cultures. Through activities, community services and sports such as basketball you get to know other people and expand your own mindset. When meeting all kinds of different individuals, you gain new perspectives and that makes you think differently than normally.
As I look back at my decision of coming here to join this community, as well as looking at my future, I am eager to see what else awaits me. One quote that means a lot to me and inspired me to start the ‘Inspiration4her’ project goes as follows; “every man should decide whether he walks in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness. This is the judgement, life’s most persistent and urgent question is; what are you doing for others?”