Kougbeadjo Yao Ekpe underwent a huge transformation thanks to his involvement with International Citizen Service. Before the programme, Yao was very shy, lacked self-confidence and felt uncomfortable working with vulnerable children and young people. He was afraid of speaking in public and avoided it at all costs, so much so, that whilst in school he would never raise his hand, and struggled academically. He was certain that a lack of confidence and poor results at school would spell out a bleak future, and he found it particularly difficult to make friends.
“It was hard for me to make real friends and I found myself isolated.” Yao explained. However, with ICS, he learnt to “surpass himself”, and thanks to his experience as a volunteer in Atakpamé, Togo, he gained more confidence, and found it easier to work as part of a team.