Algeria: “Wadjihni” to discover one’s best self.

Amel Aouadi and Zina Belheddad
Wadjihni (focus me) is an initiative developed by three young Algerian women targeting highschoolers and university students between the ages of 15 and 20. They aim to help them make positive decisions in regards to their studies and other aspects of their lives. They also provide counselling sessions and self-discovery courses, in order to help them “discover the best version of one’s self”

The charitable organisation, Wadjihni, which is made up of the three founders and nine teachers, relies on resources provided through donations. Their work takes place during 5-day camps, depending on the available resources, with the aim of reuniting participants under the same roof and allowing them to develop a clearer view of their future and to help them make better choices. The initiative is the collaborative brainchild of a group of young Algerians who were passionate about, and actively engaged in, the work of charitable organisations.

The Wadjihni team provides their service through workshops and camps. The period preceding high school final exams is a time that especially draws students who would like to lessen the stress of exam preparation. “We have succeeded in convincing the parents of young high schoolers in many districts of Algeria to allow their children to discover the experience of self-reflection, of meditation, and consideration of their future goals” Chahinez Bouazza, the founder of this new organisation, explains with pride.

The help of Wadjihni is equally appreciated the day after exam results are announced. “We provide the methods and means to young people who solicit our help to have a clearer vision of what they genuinely want to study and of the job they would like for the future. This can be an equally decisive period for students lacking in motivation or who are having difficulty continuing with their university course. They may be in need of advice and ongoing support in order to make the decision to change course or begin another educational path in serenity.” Bouazza explains. Bouazza and the two other teachers who launched this initiative, Amel Aouadi and Zina Belheddad were inspired by their own life experience. On top of the medical careers that they have pursued, they have also taken on supplementary university degrees in either languages, or accounting.

“Every one of us can push our limits and go in search of our ambitions in order to be certain of them.” The Wadjihni team states. In addition to the counselling and the modern methods of personal development they offer, Wadjihni could also be considered an interactive guide. “The website, managed by volunteering professionals offers a space in which visitors can get answers to their questions regarding recurring concerns about their studies and interests. Our website reduces the number of research steps that need to be taken by providing varied sources of verified information which have all been compared and enhanced with more detail.” Specified Bouazza.

Multiple workshops offered by the Wadjihni team include detailed presentations about jobs and higher education. “Young people, especially those needing to make decisions about their studies, need to be aware of the real-life experiences of people who have chosen particular career paths. Thus we’ve previously invited lawyers, journalists and other professionals who can present their career as it really is with its advantages and disadvantages, as opposed to how it is dreamed up by students. The young people participating in these workshops have the freedom to ask questions to these professionals about all aspects of their career, which can help them to make their own decisions,” states the Wadjihni team. They are on the cusp of obtaining “a few sponsors” in order to be able to facilitate their camps in July, which target future undergraduates who are having trouble choosing a specific course.

The Wadjihni team are all volunteers. “The benefits and workshops are run by our team, however the catering, accommodation and other resources depend on the generosity of our sponsors. The number of places that can be reserved for following camps are dependent on the donations provided.”

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