Institute for International Cooperation and Development

IICD Michigan was incorporated in 1997 as a not-for-profit organization in the state of Michigan. IICD Michigan is an independent non-profit. The Internal Revenue Service has determined that IICD Michigan is an organization as described in the revenue code 501(c) 3. This means that IICD is exempt from federal taxation of its activities and that donors can deduct donations to IICD from the income declared in their tax return.


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At first time when I read this phrase, I didn’t pay attention that much and I didn’t think deeply about it. This kind of phrase is everywhere and not that new. But through the 6 months at IICD I realize how important is this phrase. We gather because we want to fight shoulder to shoulder with The Poor. So to develop the world, we need to develop ourselves first.

My challenge has started from here. Develop myself. During 6 months, nobody told me I should do something or not. I needed to think myself everything. In my life, I’m used to follow direction from teachers. So in the beginning I was embarrassed and I didn’t know what I can do. About developing myself, I was the same as a baby. I was afraid about free system so I asked, asked and asked. Nevertheless, I cannot found what regular form is. But as time went by I realized, step by step.

How can I develop myself?

First I thought about what can I do (what I want to do) and how can I do it myself. Think by myself was really not easy. There are no limitations and no specific way so I could do whatever I wanted to do. About my daily life there are somewhat team schedule but I can manage my time, so I needed to think what I will do and what I want to do more. At first time it was difficult to manage my time by myself. Sometime I didn’t do what I want and just play, but in IICD life trained me to manage time efficiently. And second is will. I think IICD is the best place to bring dream to reality. What you need is just your will to learn more about something and do more about that something.

During the last 6 months I understood about ‘what is develop myself’ , ‘how can I develop myself’ and it was the best time to develop myself. Nobody can generalize about IICD life. IICD life depends on each person and how much effort do each one puts to develop. I’m sure we lived in same place and we did same studies but we got different feelings, achievements and satisfaction about improvements. It is totally up to me.

You can think, then you can act, then you can change by yourself. In this environment the most important thing is to think by myself and do not lose my purpose.

Some people says “the program is not good. It was waste of time...” Then I want to ask what did you do to change that. IICD is Another Kind of School. Students have the power. If program is not good then we can change it. Tell what is not good and discuss the solutions. And I think our teachers are ready to accept. To just speak out and blame is really not helping to develop ourselves. The worst complain is that the program “it is a waste of time”. At first, I thought The Journal Period was a waste of time. Many people said to me “I will not do last period because there have no schedule and previous people do nothing, so it’s just a waste of time.” When I heard it I thought the same. But though the 6 months, I change my mind. The Journal Period is also up to me. Think what I want. Make a plan of what I will like to do. Find the way and do it. Everything is made by me. So now If I heard something is waste of time then I really want to say “It’s up to you!”

Since I came to IICD, I lost the count of how many times I felt “I’m so happy”. Of course everything was not easy and sometimes it was really hard but I can say nothing was waste. Each day, each time was precious experience for me. I think IICD is good place to develop ourselves. I’m glad I decided to come to IICD and sincerely I thank to my team members. My heart fluttering because of the expectations of how much more I can develop myself in Africa. Let’s go forward.