We were tired. We were confused. We were lost.On that fateful day of Wednesday 31st September 2016.
And then…Enter stage left IGYMS (International Ghanaian Youth Movement of Strasbourg). Just in time to save us from going crazy in that Airport!
We were thrilled to step out of the gates and see the friendly faces of two IGYMS representatives (A heavenly choir was singing Hallelujah in my head, I kid you not). And these IGYMS guys, they got things done! After assessing the situation and making sure we were all accounted for, they immediately organized us, showed us where to buy our train tickets and divided up our luggage. After two trips to the train stop, we had all the people and all the luggage at the same place ready to scramble onto the next train.For two members of our party who had different itineraries and therefore arrived alone much later, someone was there to welcome and help them. This same situation without our saviors would have played out completely differently. Being strangers, we would have gone for the most convenient option i.e. taxi which would have left our purses considerably lighter. For me, the moment I realized that IGYMS had saved me money, they had my complete allegiance.
They anticipated our every need. We had water and food when we needed it. In fact, they went all out for us. They tackled every individual issue and there was no problem to which there was not a solution. None of them rested until we were finished with the procedures we had to go through and settled into our rooms. As if that was not enough, each of us received a package with some essential food items to take us up until we found our feet. And even after that, they went out and bought us dinner!Considering everything they had done for us the first day, none of us would have had any hard feelings if the IGYMS had washed their hands off us and left us to fend for ourselves. We were yet to discover that IGYMS does not do things by halves. They were there the next day to take us to our school and show us around. The day after that they had more survival knowledge to pass along. Their knowledge has been so invaluable that within a week, we were used to if not comfortable in our new environment.
These people had and have no obligation to us. They chose to take up the responsibility and inconvenience of greenhorns like us simply because they had been in our shoes before and knew from experience how much we needed a support system like them. I cannot imagine how stressful our first week would have been if we had been left to our own devices.Watching IGYMS at work makes me confident that there is hope for Ghana and for Africa in general. Every day we meet more of the IGYMS family and are impressed anew with the devotion they show to us. It is so encouraging to have a family in another man’s land.
Student,University of Strasbourg