Lerato Kossie

Nationality: South African
Living in: Johannesburg, South Africa
Programmes: ILP 2005

Since the ILP in 2005 a lot has changed and shifted for me. I left Educo 2010 and went to work for National Peace Accord in Johannesburg. I must say working with ex-combat was a life changing experience for me as I got to understand the staff. These young man and women have gone through much in life. I facilitated a wilderness eco-therapy for the ex-combat. In 2011 I moved back to Cape Town.

Currently I am organising to have my own NGO working with people from underprivileged communities, working with youth in violence in my country. I just want to say being part of the bigger circle and partaking in the WYSE programme, has made me to never look back in my life. Always trying to revive opportunities. WYSE programme had awakened something in me that I never thought I had.

I enjoy staying in contact with you guys, hoping and wishing that we can see each other in my country.

Lerato Kossie

Amie-Jade Cramp

Nationality: Australian
Living in: Adelaide, Australia
Programmes: ILP 2006

Since my time in Lucca Italy I have continued to work in project and event management, community and youth development in various capacities as well as completing my studies in Social Science majoring.

For the past 3 years I have been working as a Community Development Officer –Youth with local government where I have a focus on using art, recreation, music and leadership in a strengths based approach to work towards developing cohesive and connected communities.

I am passionate about strengthening local youth voice, communities support for young people, encouraging people to actively participate in their local community and to influence decisions that affect their lives. I have also spent time volunteering and working on various local, state and national leadership initiatives since WYSE.

I have been fortunate to travel and explore some of our amazing world including Europe, UK, and a couple of years ago spent significant time in South America volunteering with a charity in Bolivia and a social enterprise project in Ecuador. I am about to embark on a 3 month adventure with my husband throughout Europe/UK and also Africa and I couldn’t be more excited!!

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Elva (Jing) Zhang

3 Elva picture small

Nationality: Chinese
Living in: Geneva, Switzerland
Programmes: ILP 2013

Hello everyone, my name is Elva, and I am originally from the PR China.  However, I have been studying, living and working in Australia (mainly in Melbourne) for over 10 years now.  In July 2013, I moved to Geneva, Switzerland to undertake a one-year LL.M in International Law with a specialty in International Economic Law at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID).  Prior to this, I was working as a lawyer in the private sector for about 5 years.  

I have an ‘incurable addiction’ to traveling and am passionate about connecting with people from different parts of the world, for I see myself as a global citizen with a firm belief in unity and oneness.</p>

When being asked to share my WYSE story with others, I thought it would be an easy task to simply summarize my WYSE experience.  Yet, three weeks on, I still found it difficult to put it onto paper, for words seem incapable of accurately conveying the profundity of this experience.

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Kanan Dhru

Nationality: Indian
Living in: India
Programmes: ILP 2011
Kanan Dhru was featured as one of 37 "Indians of Tomorrow" by the prestigious India Today group in 2012. She was featured along with the household names from the film industry, sports and politics. She recently received an award as a "Woman with a Drive" by the Times of India on the International Women's Day.

Andy Warhol is known for his experiments with celebrity culture and art. Perhaps what is not so well-known about Warhol is one of the very interesting statements that he has made. "As soon as you stop wanting something, you get it", Warhol was once quoted saying. When I first heard this statement, I instantly agreed and felt it was ideal to be added to the list of Murphy's Laws that everyone can so relate to!

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Susan Salem

Nationality: Egyptian
Living in: Alexandria, Egypt - currently studying in London
Programmes: ELP 2011

An Arabisque Story

Over a year after the life-changing international leadership program, how did your life change? Mine did tremendously! In the International Leadership Program, I was taught to use what I know to try and serve the world, what I know is business and my community really needs all the helping hands they can get right now. So as a mean of active citizenship towards where I come from, here's another chapter in my story,

We were asked in the ILP to think of what we are passionate about and what we can do about it. My passions towards Business, Making a Difference & the Arab World are what brought me to think of a way to where social progress can leverage on business models for a stronger impact. There are such beautiful initiatives started by nonprofit organizations all over the world that are unfortunately dependent on the luck of getting a grant in order to make a difference, thinking about why should money stop these initiates from helping make the world a better place, got me to think ''Let's make the money to make a difference!''

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Rik Rovers

Nationality: Dutch
Living in: Amsterdam, Holland
Programmes: ELP 2011, ALP 2012
Last October I participated in the ALP in Italy. For three reasons.
Firstly because I held and still hold warm and good memories to the ILP. Beautiful people, wonderful insights and completely refueled and energized were the main gifts of ten days in St. Braivels Castle. And, not to forget, a head full of songs which are unexplainable to anyone who didn’t attend. Secondly, because I just started a new job and wanted to make sure that I wasn’t slowing down in my ambitions now I reached this point. And thirdly, because I wanted to know what more there was to learn.

Again, the whole experience was great. Great to see old friends, and to meet new ... and then there was the food! Delizioso! When I returned from the ALP, two insights or reconfirmations stood out in particular. One is that self-awareness is a great guide in achieving what you want in life. The second tool that WYSE brought me is the set of different methods to see the bright side of things, for example to count the days that you do work up to your ambitions instead of focusing on a day that you might not. This really helps me to enjoy the things I do more and to keep myself inspired and positive.

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Eva Wartner

Nationality: German
Living in: Germany
Programmes: ILP 2012
My name is Eva and I'm a doctor from Germany. I volunteer in an initiative called "Medizin und Menschlichkeit" which roughly translates to "Medicine and Humanness". At the core of our vision is the focus on the human being – cultivating compassionate, authentic and empowering relationships with our patients, each other and with ourselves – and through that, to inspire students and young doctors to become change agents for a better and more humane medicine of tomorrow.

My personal vision is very much aligned to this – I doubt that I'm always and exclusively going to be a medical doctor – my feeling is that my mission in this world transcends that. My intuition is that it rather has a lot to do with integrating different elements of healing and personal development in order to create something new...

I took part in WYSE 3 months ago with three colleagues. It was an awesome and profound experience! Not only meet the most wonderful, inspiring people from all over the world, but also discovered myself in ways that I have never before. Such a booster!

After a few extra days in Italy after the programme with some lovely WYSE buddies, I came back home to Munich. What has happened since then and what I noticed about myself... My initiative held two workshops on Visions in Medicine within five weeks, one in Germany, the other in Florence. Great stuff!

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Inas Zeineddine

Nationality: Lebanese
Living in: Beirut, Lebanon
Programmes: ILP 2009

WYSE? It is When Your Self Expands. Arriving at the ILP in Lucca that day, I expected everything except what happened. Some may call it a workshop or a learning experience, but it can only be called WYSE. A unique setting offering a combination of beyond-expectation experiences conducted by professional and passionate mentors, who always succeeded in engaging us until we were the experience ourselves.

The twelve-day programme created a major turning point in my life and triggered a butterfly effect. After over three years now, the WYSE self of mine has not ceased to be and it is even expanding. Each year, my understanding grows bigger and I still fetch my WYSE purse when making professional and life decisions.

My story started in the summer of 2009, when WYSE transformed my dreams to goals and got me started with step one. Eight months later, I was preparing for a scholarship programme in three European countries. After a year, I was already in Europe when I received the letter that I wrote to myself in WYSE and it was a concrete translation of the impact of WYSE on my life.

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Mohsen Al-mayyas

Nationality: Kuwaiti
Living in: Kuwait
Programmes: ILP 2012
A friend once said, "Imagine a world without judgment," I tried and it didn't compute. She described it as "one in which you can truly enjoy complete and comfortable silence with a companion," I didn't believe her. She went on to say it's "a place where people are considerate, positive and real—where the environment is crucial, food isn't wasted and technology and stress do not take precedence over nurturing talents and appreciating a quiet forest and cool breeze," and that's when I knew she must have been dreaming.

To me such a utopian ideal world only exists in the realm of our hopes and dreams. Where people aren't tearing the world apart with their selfish acts. My curiosity got the best of me, and I had to discover if what she was blabbering about really existed or if she just had an amazing summer binged on LSD and went into a trip that she never came back from. And that's when I decided to join the WYSE family.

So how would you describe a unique experience? One that enriches you with probably more questions than answers. Questions that are diabolically critical to your development throughout this journey we call life.

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