There is a saying that in life, “There are times to stay put, and what you want will come to you, and there are times to go out into the world and find such a thing for you.” Those who know Lillian Moremi will surely agree that the 27 year old pint-sized young lady is a go-getter, ambitious and an outgoing young Botswana woman who would go an extra mile into the world and search for what she really wants. Oozing with passion for education and leadership, Lillian is on a personal quest to encourage and inspire young people particularly young women to take up leadership roles. Youthhub-Africa’s Correspondent for Botswana – Eric Paulo caught up with Lillian, to chat about her 14 days excursion to the Antarctica. She left Botswana February 22, 2013 and returned home on March 15, 2013. She told Youthhub-Africa that the purpose of the International Antarctica Expedition, led by Robert Swan (the first man to walk to both the North and the South Pole) and his team from his company 2041, was to inspire change by engaging young people globally on environmental issues and leadership enhancement.
Lillian was representing the Ducere Foundation and Botswana together with about 76 young people from 26 nations who also took part in the 2013 Antarctica expedition. Her participation was meant to enable her to get a global perspective of Leadership, to inspire other young Batswana to be catalysts of positive change in their communities.
According to worldatlas.com, the Antarctica is Earth‘s southernmost continent, containing the geographic South Pole. It is situated in the Antarctic region of the Southern Hemisphere. On average, the Antarctica is said to be the coldest, driest, and windiest continent, and has the highest average elevation of all the continents.
Lillian is Botswana’s first female to go to the Antarctica. Her expedition through the Antarctica was from February 28 to March 12, 2013, and this is what she had to say
Q: Briefly give us a brief background about yourself.
A: I have a degree in Accounting from the University of Cape Town. I am the founder of Botswana Student Network Society which is mandated to bridge the gap between students, corporates and government and to drive leadership, social responsibility and career advancement. I am also the Coordinator of D?cere Foundation. It is an advancing School Improvement Programs in partnership with the Botswana Ministry of Education and Skills Development. Lastly, I am also a Member of Toastmasters Gaborone Club which nurtures leadership and public speaking skills for its members and I also write career development articles for Kutlwano Magazine.
Q: What motivated you to take up the challenge?
A: “I love challenges”, she said with a smile. She added that she loves doing things that would add value to her personal growth. This was my first international travel and snow experience and the prospect of meeting other like-minded people from across the world motivated me because I am a firm believer of the saying, “Two heads are better than one.” So I wanted to share and learn from people from different backgrounds, the outspoken young leader said.
Q: You are the first female young Motswana to go to the Antarctica. How does that make you feel?
A: “It gives me great pleasure to know that this expedition has inspired a lot of young people in Botswana,” she said in a calm voice. She reiterates that a lot of young people have now found the courage and motivation to pursue their dreams. “I am mentoring a lot of young women on personal development and run workshops on sustainable leadership and motivation for the youth,” she added.
Q: What are the highlights of your trip to the Antarctica
A: Exchanging experience with my roommate Sonal Asgotraa from India is one. We shared a lot about our countries; our cultures, challenges that young people face and the great initiatives run by young people to encourage community development. I was really nervous about camping on snow without tents but the continuous support from Sonal kept me going. “This is one friendship that I will treasure forever, and I am looking forward to continue our youth engagements projects with Sonal in Botswana and India,” she said.
Q: What challenges did you encounter and how did you overcome them?
A: As we stayed in the Sea Spirit ship, it was nice and warm inside, I feared to go for outside activities because of the cold. However, I had to motivate myself to stay positive and engage in all activities, because this was a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Q: What are the lessons learnt?
A: Self believe and self- motivation is crucial for achieving difficult tasks. Sustainable Leadership comes with responsibility and accountability. Change can be difficult but if you have “SMART” goals and implementation timeline working in teams as a collective force, a lot will be achieved.
Q: What your message to other young people out there?
A: To every young person, “Rome was not built in a day,” so Let us all continue to contribute to our country’s growth through our efforts. To young women,let us stand up and take leadership roles not only from a household level, but also actively participate in decision-making processes that will help govern our country. “If you can dream it, believe it, then you can achieve it,” she says.
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