Finding courage and strength

Amelia Barber

Africa is one of my homes, a place where my heart jumps, stomps and smiles.
I have been to Africa four times: the first (aged 15) as part of a humanitarian school trip with St David's College; the second (aged 17) to start my own fair trade business called Trade Link; the third (aged 18) as a helper and leader of a group of teenagers on a community project; and the fourth (aged 20) to take my mother. I took her to my spirit brothers wedding; it was the first time she had been back to Africa (her birthplace) since she was four.

I learned how life ‘happens’ between the events, from people who I observed seemed to openly enjoy and value life’s slow moments as well as the fast and exciting.

I learned of strength and courage in others and I found my own. I learned to peel matoke, cook chapatti and make beads. I learned how to shout with glee and praise and how to talk without words. I learned lessons of respect and perseverance from people whose willpower and visions were far stronger than their houses.