Students Thoughts on Conferences –

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RSIC 2019 – by Zehrabanu Hussein

RSIC 2019 is by far one of the most eye-opening experiences I have encountered in my life 

Prior to the conference, If you told me I was to be trapped in a room full of strangers, I would most definitely tell you to get me out of that situation, now, if I were to be told this, I’d be hyped about it because I now know I would walk out of that room smiling and laughing hand in hand with the strangers I was in there with. This is because I came to acknowledge how sociable I actually am after being able to relate and talk to so many people even though we came from completely parallel backgrounds. Discussing everything and anything about the world gave me an insight of different opinions, talking about the most neglected and controversial things opened me up to reality.

Apart from all the friendships made and lessons learned I would say that there is one thing that hit me the most, one thing that most of us forget we have, one thing that goes unappreciated, one thing that we always seem to be blind to.

And that one thing is PRIVILEGE

I came to ponder upon this when I was taken to a deaf and dumb bilingual institute as one of the service projects where I was taught to communicate with a whole clan of lovely talented children, and even tho they were limited to the abilities that i posses, they were so happy; they welcomed us with open arms and wide smiles. And they would talk amongst themselves thru sign language and I was so intrigued by their actions. I started to question myself, if these kids can be so cheerful despite their inabilities, why do I complain about the slightest uncomfortable matters?

If these kids can wake up everyday and strive to learn and work harder, why do I make excuses?

I almost started feeling guilty but then again, one of the lecturers there said exactly what I needed to hear, 

Guilt is a wasted emotion. We don’t mind that you feel guilty that you’re in a privileged position. Who cares that you feel bad?

Do something with that privilege. Step into it all the way and own your voice. Take risks because you are in the position to take risks when so many millions of people around the world are not in that same position.

Especially in the world of today, human beings just like you and me are dying of starvation and war, are dying of malnutrition and diseases, are dying as a result of conflict and climate change. 

And us,we live in absolute peace, we have a family to go back to, we are fed properly, we drink clean water, we have access to the perfect education system, we have a roof over our heads, we are part of a community built off of round square ideals that welcome no room for racism and discrimination 

So I would say our mission as students and the youth of today is not to follow in the footsteps of astronauts, Nobel prize winners, and presidents before us, but to exceed their footsteps, crush the shoulders of the giants upon whom we stand, we here are such innovative people …each one of us is specially made.

So I’m telling you, there is always room for change 

Because Indeed Me  And you  – We are privileged.

Hello and Namaste everyone,

India! What a country, with an authentic culture, food, and people full of smiles.
And this is what you call INTERNATIONALISM.
Going to India, I was able to realize the importance of Round Square again and understand how valuable it is for us.
As I went to exchange in 2017, I loved round square because of what it had to offer but, I never imagined that it would allow me to meet my friends again from the host school in South Africa and other exchange students again in India.
This is what round square does for everyone; whether we accept it or not that’s upon us…..
The speakers left a positive footprint as we had the opportunity to meet Sophia the Robot, and learn something new from each one of them.
This conference has personally taught me to always make a difference, be it small or big; it does matter and to accept who you are, love yourself everyday because each one of us is different and special in our own way as they say we all smile with a different language.
We would also like to thank Mr Respol, for writing a beautiful poem in Kiswahili so we could represent our country proudly amongst 150 countries.
Round square brings people together for sure because I did find some good friends including Shaheen and Banu that I had never talked to but now, as soon as we see each other we end up laughing because this trip brought us memories that will always be cherished and Mr Mac, I tell you, he’s a person that you would love to know and we were so afraid of him but, he was an amazing father for 2 weeks even though, he lost our tickets we got your back sir.
The struggle was real, Banu had ringing sounds in the ear because of the loud music, poor Shaheen was confused and always looking for me, the ‘joto ilituchosha’ [heat was making us tired], Shaheen thought that the water was sharp and even though I loved the pani puri, it was spicy that my ulcers were also crying.
Words and 1000 pictures are not enough to explain this trip and it will always bring a smile to my face….thank you!