The journey from JCI India to JCI Ireland.and beyond.

08 Sep 2021 President Ireland By President Ireland

I come from a small town called Nileshwar which is located in north Kerala of India. Often hailed as the cultural capital of the district, this peaceful town has two rivers, a palace and several temples with ponds and banyan trees. The JCI office is located in the very city centre, the JCI has been active in the city for more than four decades. It is a well-established chapter in JCI India and is part of Zone 19 of JCI India. Over the years it has delivered numerous leaders who have contributed enormously to the welfare of the region. Moreover, JCI has been running a school in the city for three decades where I went as a kinder garden student.

However, I went to the same place after two decades, this time as a JCI member in 2018. I went there with nothing in my hand. I was a random guy who goes for a walk with a dear friend and sits in the desolate railway station in the city before I joined the organisation. As someone who lived the two and half decades of life entirely within my city, I have not seen the world before other than through the news. But JCI was found to be a launching pad, it inspired me to develop, explore and evolve. Being someone who never spoke English before, I took the decision to pursue my masters in an English speaking country. Had I not been decided to join the organisation I would be still in the railway station counting the compartments of the odd goods trains passing.


Nileshwar railway station

If you have not heard about JCI before, JCI is an organisation for people between 18 to 40. The earlier you start the better you are. It is one of the world’s largest youth organisations with members in 124 countries and is founded by Henry Giessenbier back in 1915 at St Louis. Many accomplished personalities used the JCI platform in their younger age including former US presidents Bill Clinton and GW Bush and several prime ministers from Japan. JCI is always a member organisation. It is often said that “We are the sum of the people whom we hang out with”. In JCI, you have the right people. It gives you the opportunity to be with leaders and learn from them. The standout feature of JCI is the equal opportunity to the leadership. From the chapter president to the world president, all can only hold the position for a single year. There are four pillars or areas of opportunity within the organisation: Individual, business, community and International.

I came to Ireland with a letter of recommendation from my Chapter president to join the organisation. But I was not able to join the organisation in the first year, the chapter was not active in the place where I was living. And then the covid struck. But in my second journey to Ireland, I got it right. I became a member of JCI Cork which is found to be the oldest chapter in Ireland. My JCI Ireland journey kicked off with a stream of virtual events and finally, we had our first meeting in Cobh and marlough woods in the form of a barbeque outing where I had the opportunity to meet past world president Kevin with our national president Carol.

In JCI Ireland, I took the position of secretary of the Diversity and Inclusion committee. We made some nice projects under the leadership of Pamela hittimana and will be delivering more in near future. I was also part of the national convention of JCI Scotland. Whether in JCI India or in JCI Ireland or other chapters with which I interacted all around the world, all stand for “One future” that is a better world.