Before the YC was officially established, I was active as “YC volunteer” during the 8th Canadian Conference on International Health in Ottawa in October 2001, where I presented my Masters research on peer-influence and reproductive health among young people in Dakar, Senegal. I then became active for the YC as member and SC-member until end 2005. My resignation from the YC was one of the most difficult decisions in my life, as I could not dedicate enough time anymore to YC-issues and be the active member whom I wanted to be.
Currently, I am living in Lusaka, Zambia, with my husband and I am working as Project Coordinator with the WorldFish Center, on a regional project on Fisheries and HIV/AIDS. The focus of this work is on mobility, access to HIV/AIDS related services and nutrition security of fisher folk and female fish traders in different countries in Sub Sahara Africa. Each project country has a component on national policy influence to ensure that the highly vulnerable people involved in fishing and fish trade are targeted in the national responses to HIV/AIDS.
The tough but rewarding working attitude in the YC has shaped me and thought me what it means to work day and night for the good cause. This passion for important issues such as young people’s rights has remained with me and I recognize it with a few people in my current working life. However, I will never come across a group as diverse and unique, yet unified as the YC. I especially appreciated the way in which the YC as a group welcomed and respected differences in culture, opinion, sexual orientation and choice, and how we made a strength out of this diversity. While I learned a lot throughout my time with the YC, I was also able to guide new members into the YC, which strengthened my mentoring skills. Through the YC, I have met so many inspiring young people and made some friends for life!