Once upon a time… yes, i’ll be narrating the story of when agara was nominated for the Premju Zaghzugh/a tas-Sena. I’ll try to express some of our emotions through this journey.
So, once upon a time, back in January, agara received a letter stating that agara has been nominated for Premju Zaghzugh/a tas-Sena (Young adult of the Year). Stephen, who opened the letter posted a photo of the letter on our Facebook Group and all i saw was my name as a representative of agara for this nomination. Now, let me tell you, i’m a very shy person (although i don’t necessarily look like it, but i am) and these instances make me very nervous. So, my first reaction was “no guys i’m not going to do this!” I’m not keen on having all that attention on myself and i insisted with the Board Members for someone else to take my place. After a lot of discussions, they managed to persuade me that i would be doing this for agara and that i should be honoured about this.
Anyway, on the day, was bouncing off the walls. Our excitement levels, out of 10, was 15! How can i put this for you to understand? It’s the same feeling you get when you’re going on holiday at the moment you shut your work laptop, put the chair in place and switch off the office lights; that level of excitement. Let’s face it, being nominated for Zaghzugh/a tas-Sena is a big thing. Although we don’t work for the “well done” and the “good job”, this for us meant that we were on the right track and that our work was in fact leaving a mark in society.
Forward to 6.30pm, all members suited up, i found myself seated at the front row at the Church of St Dominic and the Blessed Virgin in Rabat, few centimeters away from the President. To cut a long story short, Kerygma, the organisation that was organising this event, presented all the nominees. I must say that during agara’s presentation i felt proud to be part of this amazing NGO. Even though i felt alone as i was standing next to the other nominees not my usual agara friends, i could feel their enthusiasm hugging me. All nominees were presented with a small trophy of participation which was well deserved by all. Then? Well, the moment to present the winner was next. I must say, i felt like jelly took over my body. I remember saying to myself “i will not be able to walk if agara is confirmed winner! My feet feel like jelly.. I think my heart will bounce out of my chest..” Before i know it, i had to tell myself “pull yourself together and walk up the there, steph.. We won!” I got up, looked at my friends and family and walked up to receive the winner trophy.
A lot of photos and flashes later, i don’t really know what happened. I just remember myself, holding the trophy and thinking about all the refugees i worked with in Calais and Lebanon and about all the genuine volunteers who make agara possible. I remember a journalist interviewing me, but don’t ask me what i’ve said. I remember shaking hands with the APS Bank’s Head of Strategy & Marketing and receiving a monetary prize (in the name of agara of course!) . But that’s all! I was too focused on what winning this prize meant.
Few hours later? Well, i was camping. Life truly goes on.. But winning this prize means that agara is more obliged towards society. Simply put, the Monday after the ceremony, in every school i visited for work, teachers and school staff were asking about agara and our input. This got me thinking that agara now, has a greater responsibility to reach out to vulnerable people and make the world a better place and that changing the world is not an impossible dream. Everyone knows about agara now, and thankfully, a lot of people are willing to help.
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Steph Micallef – board member and