Back in Guatemala, Damaris has started to implement what she learned during her exchange in Nicaragua in her home organisation; FUNDATED.  “I am contributing with new ideas and I tailor activities to our target groups”.

The most important things she learned through her exchange has resulted in both personal and professional growth. By living in a new country, with different people, culture and geography she has overcome her fears regarding living alone, be independent and having to rely on herself.

Professionally, Damaris has gained more insight in institutional and communal work. This knowledge can benefit her organisation back home, she says. Throughout her exchange, she has come to recognise that she can influence other people by contributing to positive change through her own experiences – regardless of the cultural differences and social situations. This has been a great learning for her, which she is going to be more observant of now that she has returned home.

“It has not been easy, but after my exchange I understood that I am a different person now and by sharing my new experiences, I am helping by involving more people to make a change for a better world. I see my environment very different now and I am starting to understand that it is because I am growing as a person, both personally and professionally” says Damaris.

An important lesson that Damaris has learned during and after her exchange, is that to achieve great results, you need time. And more importantly, you need time for yourself – to reflect on and process what you have experienced, so you can use those experiences and the knowledge you have gained.

Her best advice to current and future FK participants is to recognise that all of us play a part in shaping this world – “If we are asking for changes, we need to get involved”. Lastly, have a positive attitude and an open mind to the unknown, and you will learn a great deal about yourself and everything around you!

What is your #myFKeffect?