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Steering Committee Spotlight: Quang Tran

Wednesday 4th August 2010

‘Quang, you’re working full time and you’re doing a Master’s full time… Why do you want to be involved in Nkabom?  Do you have any time? What is the point; do you really think you can make a difference? What is your role going to be?’

All good question and ones I faced at my interview and from my family, friends and colleagues!

My interest in politics first began when I travelled to China and Vietnam in the late 1990’s. My mother is Vietnamese and my father Chinese but I was born and raised in the UK. These trips provided me with an opportunity to learn more about the cultures and traditions of my forefathers. It gave me an insight into different levels of democracy and freedom and a chance to see the effects of communism, war and poverty – themes which I wanted to explore further once I had returned and seen part of the world from a different perspective. I did this, upon my return, by studying these topics academically and by taking on various positions of responsibility linked to politics. After graduating with a BA in Politics, I joined Shell and entered their Graduate Development Programme, working in HR in: The Hague, Kuala Lumpur and now in London.

With this background, I wanted to contribute my knowledge and experience towards initiating change and making a difference – hence my decision to apply for the HR Lead role on the Steering Committee. The challenges of the 21st century require people skilled in the art of diplomacy, mediation and conflict resolution. Therefore a voice, education and initiatives such as these are important: with the right tools and policies, young people can be and are agents for peace. It is through us that the world can change for the better now and in the future – through knowledge, energy, drive, passion and belief that peace is possible if we all share similar values and aspirations.

As the HR Lead my main role so far has been to create and implement a fair system to select the other Nkabom delegates  – with over 500 brilliant applications it wasn’t an easy task! Luckily I could draw on my experiences at work along with the Steering Committee in order to achieve this. We created a selection process based on 4 areas: we looked at your life experiences, your awareness and knowledge of key issues, your relationships skills and also your enthusiasm and commitment to Nkabom and to fostering a better future.

As a committee we reviewed all your applications and debated until late at night in order to land on the chosen 36! On several occasions the debates were heated and we thought there would be conflict in the room! But it was the strength of your applications, your optimism and commitment to peace, and the unique experiences you all had that made us so passionate, kept us going and also reinforced our shared belief that we (youth) can make a difference and that Nkabom and its aims can be achieved. In the end we believe we have picked a diverse and amazing set of delegates and we hope that you will share your experiences with us all in Rwanda and beyond. 

I feel as if I know you all already, and I hope my first ever blog has helped you to learn a bit about me! I look forward to meeting you all in a month’s time!

One Comment leave one →
  1. Monday 9th August 2010 6:29 pm

    Dear Quang,

    I like the introduction of your post and the fact that you passed through people thoughts and believed in your abilities to make the role a reality. Looking to meeting you now !

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