Before I came to Germany,I had the mentality that every one at home has about any 1st world country. Luckily for me, I am not just a young African woman but an empowered one for that matter thanks to the Resource Center for Women and Girls. However, I still held the mentality that life in Europe or outside Africa is a paradise. Before I came here, I attended a Mentoring and Development camp organized by the Resource Center, a camp with my sisters. I remember one of the sessions where everyone was asked what they would like to study and I rushed to say I wanted to study medicine because I thought that being in Germany everything would work out just fine on its own. I thought it was just by saying a word and everything was done. Being here for two months, I now know what it means to want to study in a foreign country as a foreigner. Things aren't as easy here as I had assumed. With the values I learned at the camp, I feel privileged because at the camp I learned many things that are keeping me going and making my world a bit easier. I pursue excellence in all I do, which means I have less problems with my employer, some things we were taught at the camp and I never really understood how they would assist us later in the future, I am now seeing their very great significance in the life I am currently leading. It is at the camp where I learned eating a healthy diet, importance of sports, table manners, and most of all I benefited when I went to apply for my visa. I wasn't so good in German but I walked upright with confidence like I knew I was the right woman for this chance. Of course I got a visa because I had this special opportunity that the other girls didn't have, which was attending the Resource Center camp. In Germany, it is a bit different. Gender discrimination isn't there, there are benefits in Europe that as a woman one is able to enjoy but despite that, there are also disadvantages which come with being a foreigner. If only people knew it needs sacrifice and putting up a fight to make it. I currently need 8000 euros to study but I cant say it is impossible, which brings me back to the camp again. We were taught to always have a plan A,B and if possible a plan C. It is a different world here, everything costs money, my parents are not here to rely on, there are this dubious men who are waiting for young African women to introduce them into prostitution or even drug trafficking. It is a struggle but it is all living with caution and if someone hasn't been lucky like me to attend a camp and get empowered and mentored as a young African woman, it can be a sea full of sadness and regrets.
This goes out to all young sisters coming here, and who want to come here, do not think its a paradise, or think that anything good comes your way without putting up hard work, determination and most of all, upholding your values.
Alumni of the Resource Center for Women and Girls in Germany.