Published March 25, 2019
Strolling into my favorite coffee shop in Accra, I hear someone call out my name- “Ms. Esther?” I turn around and it’s an RTC alumnus. We take a few minutes to chat about the RTC, training, their law enforcement career and so on.
Picking up delegations from the airport- we run into several RTC alumni from the Immigration Service and from Aviation Security. “Hey RTC Team!”- they call out. Our alumni are always ready to provide assistance to us and make our jobs easier.
Travelling to Abuja for a meeting- we throw out a last-minute invitation to our alumni for an informal meet and greet session. We are amazed at the turnout; the ebb and flow of conversations indicate that we are more than just counterparts- we’re a global community.
Week after week, we witness strangers walk into the RTC and depart as friends. On the first day of training, a participant from Nigeria is seated next to a participant from Benin. After a few awkward smiles and handshakes, they begin to wonder how they can break linguistic challenges and collaborate. By Wednesday, they somehow make it work- google translate, interpreters, coupled with their mutual love for soccer! On Friday, folks are having a hard time saying goodbye and are sharing WhatsApp and Facebook information.
What does being a part of the RTC community mean to you? To us, it means much more than a week of training- It means travelling to Cote D’Ivoire for the first time and knowing that we have a community of people we can reach out to help navigate the streets. It means sharing stories of successes chalked at work, which demonstrate the value of the training. It means we are all somehow connected- with our shared vision of combatting transnational organized crime.
We hope that at the end of each training week, our participants, depart with a sense of pride, as belonging to a community of criminal justice professionals in Africa. We always look forward to hearing from you- we appreciate the occasional email, saying hello and more importantly, we look forward to hearing about your law enforcement careers.
Please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and share your thoughts.