Alek Akuie was our representative at the recent RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Award) camp in Mt Evelyn. With humour, sincerity and much enthusiasm, she told us about her week-long experience.

When she arrived at the camp, she was extremely nervous as were all the other attendees. She felt way out of her comfort zone. However, it wasn't long before they were bonding, thanks to the leaders who encouraged the group to do some fun things together. By Day 2, many friendships had already started to develop.

Alek was very impressed with the quality of the speakers. Their subjects generally related to leadership and building confidence. She was particularly moved by the presentation of a young lady called Annie who, as a young girl, wanted to be an actor. Sadly, she was involved in a fire which resulted in scars to 50% of her body. Now she goes around Australia talking to people about not giving up, no matter how adverse your personal circumstances may be. In fact, Alek and her friends were so encapsulated by Annie's speech that tears were shed, partly through sympathy but mainly through inspiration.

Alek believes that she learnt so much from her RYLA experience. As she embarks on her working life, hopefully in the police force, she feels she will be a better person and a stronger leader. She also believes that she can do so much more by working within the Sudanese community. She has even used her new-found experience to great effect by being part of a camp for less fortunate kids. 

Everyone agreed that the vibrancy and enthusiasm portrayed by Alek will result in her having a successful future regardless of what she does.

Here is a photo of Alek and her friends at the RYLA camp.