I first came across PCDNetwork.org in 2014 when a colleague shared an opportunity through the site. I had asked this colleague to share scholarship opportunities she may come across around gender and peace building issues. On this particular day, she shared a scholarship opportunity through PCDN offered by Rotary International (RI). The Scholarship was on Peace Studies. On opening the site, I was marveled at how many opportunities came through PCDN. I wondered how on earth my colleague had not shared about this site with myself and other colleagues before. I immediately embarked on a journey to apply for the scholarship and other opportunities through the site as well as sharing the opportunities with my friends and colleagues.
The process for Rotary International fellowship was tedious and required a lot of interactions with Rotarians. I had heard of Rotarians but had not interacted with them. In fact I used to hear people say that Rotarians were illuminati. This scared me at first, however, when I enquired more about Rotarians and started interacting with them, my worldview took a 360 degrees turn. I loved them, I volunteered with them and went ahead to use my resources to support their noble initiatives. Although the application process was not easy, I finally managed to hand in my application and after a long wait, the word ‘congratulations’ came around, I was one of the successful candidates. I got an opportunity to study for my MA in Peace and Development with University of Bradford, UK in 2015/2016. Thank you PCDN.
Now, imagine this, for the first time ever, a village girl boards a flight to Pretoria, South Africa for a professional training. Not sure what lies ahead of her, she wears a smile and seats back to watch the clouds in the sky. However, she is confident and eager to become a global citizen. She wants to demonstrate to the world that nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it and she exactly does that. This was me in September 2014, way before the Rotary scholarship.
PCDN site is interactive, they keep posting and sharing newsletters daily in ones email. As such, when my colleague shared the opportunity through PCDN, I not only applied for the RI scholarship, but I went ahead to search for other opportunities that were relevant to my work and career. I came across a course on Managing Diversity offered by Institute of Security Studies (ISS) and applied for it. As fate would have it, this was the response, “ACCEPTANCE – MANAGING DIVERSITY TRAINING (Pretoria)!” Oh my God, I couldn’t believe it, the course was fully sponsored, I screamed on top of my voice in the office. I however, collected myself and opened the attached document to confirm it was in deed true, and there it was, Dear Regina, following your………….the rest is history. Thank you PCDN.
In Pretoria during the Managing Diversity Course by ISS in September 2014
Fired up, that I can become whatever I wanna be, my search for International opportunities continued. Once again, through PCDN I applied for a Course in APPLIED CONFLICT TRANSFORMATION offered by Action Support Centre (ASC) in South Africa. You guessed right, I was offered an opportunity to attend the course in November 2014, I however had to pay USd 250. The amount was a drop in the ocean compared to the experiences, networks, knowledge I gained from this training. I am forever grateful PCDN.
With other participants during the Conflict course in Johannesburg, SA in November 2014.
This is not all, I can go on and on, to trainings in Germany, online courses, receiving peace and security reports, attending workshops and forums among others. I have surely become a global citizen.
I now call myself an ambassador of PCDN, I have shared the site to hundreds of people and I continue to do so. I always look forward to receiving the daily newsletter to share it with colleagues and friends. In fact most of my colleagues have signed up for the newsletter. I however read through the newsletter and forward specific links to various people. Two of my colleagues have attended International trainings through PCDN, one other participated in an online research and was acknowledged, others have attended forums and above all, as peace practioners, we have been impacted by the various publications shared on the site. I also share the opportunities from the newsletter on my new found organization which was partly inspired by PCDN, namely, Amani Women Network (AWN).
Thank you PCDN for the good work you do, you impact millions of people globally and I am one grateful fellow for the impact you have made in my life. #forevergrateful.