Two weeks in Switzerland
Winnie is a well-versed young girl from Kenya. In her free time she enjoys reading books. Her dream is to open once a bakery. She is working as a English literacy teacher in a high school and volunteers for Aiducation in Kenya. In October Winnie spent two weeks in Switzerland. Read about her experience she made during this time.
If someone would have told me, that I would once fly abroad, it could be the worst joke. Luckily for me, I was offered a chance by BDO Switzerland for the great work, Michelle and I did in the financial literacy academy, 2019. It was a dream come true. God! The best news ever. I was so overwhelmed. I could not wait for the day when Michelle and I would be flying to this beautiful country, home of the alps.
The day was finally here, 19th October 2019, when we landed in Switzerland. Immediately the plane landed, everyone applauded and I instantly knew that there is so much in store for us. From the onset, the appearance of everything was different from what we used to. The landscape, clean streets, and beautiful colours from the trees were a sight to behold. The air as well smelt so fresh.
Cynthia picked us at the airport and took us to her place, Schaffhausen, for the weekend. On Sunday, we visited the Rhine Falls, the largest waterfall in Europe and it was just amazing.
The fast flowing, crystal clear water and thunderous noise was breathtaking. We then walked around the city and went up a castle so that we could get a glimpse of the whole town. As we walked by the river, you could even see the pebbles at the riverbed. We also tasted the delicious chestnut “Maroni”.
On Monday, we took a train to Altstetten to the office of Aiducation Switzerland. We were welcomed by Matthias, Andrea and Maya. We had a briefing and tasted Switzerland pastry products, and their soft drink, Rivella.
In the afternoon, we went sight seeing around Zurich city. With the help of maps given to us by Andrea, we had a great adventure around the old city and the lake. Later on, I was taken to my host’s place. Alice and Michael are just incredible, so sweet and open from the start. I learnt how to play the piano from Michael.
The next day, I went to a Kiwanis Club in Nidwalden. The event was a great success, having lunch together and sharing my story and the impact of Aiducation in Kenya touched them and I got one scholarship instantly. The Club also agreed to discuss further and see how they would offer some scholarships.
On Wednesday, we had lunch with the BDO company and it was a great reunion after the academy we had organized together. Giving them feedback and catching up was incredible.
I then proceeded to meet my Aidumaker, Dominik. It was an honor meeting the man behind my scholarship. The person who sacrificed to let a young Kenyan girl have a bright future. It was unbelievable. I could not stop marveling at what would have happened had he decided to withdraw.
We had the Impact Dinner in Zurich., with the key speaker Ms Dorothea Strauss. It was stupefying seeing how many people put their all in making Aiducation become a success. How they believe in it and struggle to ensure they acquire more donors.
Over the weekend, we went hiking in Beatenberg and Engelberg, seeing snow for the first time was an awesome experience. Thanks to a sweet, kind lady, Esther who made all this happen.
We proceeded to Basel, in preparation for the Impact Dinner. Thanks to Florian who took us cycling and we managed to enter France and Germany. It was drizzling but it did not deter us from achieving our goal. The experience was worth it
Lastly, the Impact Dinner in Basel, was a tremendous success. The speech from Peggy Grueninger was a blast and it touched the guests on the need to support such projects.
Our stay was now at its climax and it was getting more and more cold as if chasing us away. The two weeks we stayed in Switzerland were an eye-opener, it dawned on us how Matthias, Florian and the team put their all in making Aiducation grow and spread to more countries. I came to realize nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is also a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.
A special Thank you to the team in Switzerland, friends of Aiducation, Alice and Esther for the love and hospitality you showed us. It felt at home being with all of you.