Learning about Parliament – from Ghana to Zimbabwe

By Adu Kakra Duayeden

Early in 2009, when I heard that I had been selected to take part in the Fredskorpet (FK) exchange programme and that my host organisation was going to be the Public Affairs and Parliamentary Support Trust (PAPST) based in Harare, Zimbabwe, I faced the task of convincing family members and friends who wanted me to withdraw from the programme due to the highly condemned political practices in Zimbabwe.
However, after a two-week preparatory course in Cape Town, South Africa, I learnt that Zimbabwe is not only a safe place to live and work but that there are a whole lot of new experiences and challenges ahead of me that I can learn and share after completion of the FK programme. I also believe that it is not every day that a person gets an opportunity to experience different cultural and societal perspectives of another country, and in my case, a country struck by high inflation, diseases and disaster.
The preparatory course held in June-July was an eye-opener for all the participants. It served as a tool arming us for living and working in our various host organisations. Furthermore, we were made aware of things that we would not have deemed to be important without them being pointed out by the lecturers.
Being a person who enjoys travelling and experiencing new things, my first month of fellowship in Harare was great. I arrived at the airport and was met by the Executive Director of PAPST. First, he took me to the office, and afterwards to a nice place that will be my residence for the next 10 months.
PAPST is a small organisation made up of nice and easy-going people willing to share their experiences and also learn from mine. With their mission and vision, PAPST is just like my home organisation (CDD-Ghana), where we are into promoting democracy and good governance. I found myself settling in with ease at my host organisation due to the similarities between PAPST and CDD-Ghana.

For me, any obstacles that I encounter in my everyday life and in my line of duty, I perceive as a challenge. Already, I am enjoying the exchange programme and I am looking forward to the rest of the months that I will be with PAPST and the experiences that lie ahead.

Thank you FK for promoting and funding such a programme to build the capacity of citizens who aspire for democracy.

Adu Kakra Duayeden
CDD-Ghana FK Participant at PAPST-Zimbabwe
Public Affairs and Parliamentary Support Trust (PAPST)

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