Youth Summit: how it all began

Youth Summit: how it all began

Aaron Toland, aged 22 from Belfast, volunteered with Progressio ICS in Honduras. Here, he captures the opening activity at the Youth Summit. The Secretary of State for International Development Justine Greening opened the Youth Summit reflecting on the success of the MDGs. Poverty has been halved, child mortality slashed, to name a few. Justine focused on the differences in the SDGs and the MDGs,  the focus of sustainability and universal application. She linked SDG 16:Peace and Justice to the refugee crisis in Syria and emphasised the need for a peaceful and just world, free from violence. Justine looked at the crowd and said that events like this are how change occurs, and that young people have two major roles to play in achieving these SDGs: *Be advocates of change* “Our voice and our opinions of what we want in our world.” *Be agents of change* “Get pulled of the audience and onto the stage, change things, be the change maker.” The crowd were greeted to a video message from Nobel Laureate Malala Yousofzai who started by apologising that she could not attend, but reassured those in attendance it was for a valid reason, for the education that she had fought hard for. The documentary “He Called Me Malala” showcasing Malala’s story is released across the UK on 6th November. Anti-FGM activist stepped up to a roaring crowd, thanked everyone for the invitation to the Youth Summit and praised the role young people have had to date. Fahma reflected upon the challenges of raising issues as a young person, ranging from having over 75 people protesting at her college over an anti-FGM event that was planned,...
Jemma Reid: why I am passionate about Goal 15

Jemma Reid: why I am passionate about Goal 15

Youth Reporter Rose Ziaei (left) speaks to Youth Summit delegate Jemma Reid (right), who volunteered with Progressio ICS in Nicaragua last year. Jemma is at the summit to speak to Progressio alumni about future opportunities and the Global Goals. What are you looking forward to the most today? Engaging with young-minded people who are ambitious and enthusiastic. What do you think is the most important Sustainable Development Goal and why? Goal 15 – sustainable land use and halting bio diversity loss. I am currently studying International Relations but the reason why I’m interested in Goal 15 is because of my volunteering experience. I volunteered in Tanzania on a conservation programme for biodiversity loss and my Progressio ICS placement in Nicaragua included a lot of work around sustaining land. We’re a growing population and it’s incredibly important to raise awareness about these issues because what we do is impacting small indigenous communities that we don’t normally think about in everyday life. What advice would you give to young people wanting to pursue a career in international development? I would suggest practical experience whether it is paid or volunteering or an internship. Enthusiasm is key. And making sure that you’re pursuing something that you are truly passionate about. You have to be proactive. Do not underestimate the skills you gained from ICS, even if it is something as small as interviewing someone from the community. To find out more about ICS, visit...
Meet Natasha, who recently returned from volunteering in Zanzibar

Meet Natasha, who recently returned from volunteering in Zanzibar

Our Youth Reporter Lucy Taylor, who volunteered with Skillshare in Botswana on an International Citizen Service (ICS) project, is live reporting from the Youth Summit today. Here, she interviews Natasha Simeone, who has recently returned from being Team Leader for VSO ICS in Zanzibar Why are you at the Youth Summit? I really care about development, particularly environmental issues. I want to be more active, and organise more events. Since I only got back from my ICS placement in Zanzibar four weeks ago I’m also looking for work! Why do you think some young people are not as engaged? Our society has got very good at distraction. People forget about the bigger issues. I also think some people have become very pessimistic and those attitudes need to change. But events like the response to the refugee crisis show that people can organise themselves and make a difference through community. Why did you decide to volunteer ICS? I was already quite engaged with social issues and volunteering – me and my friends set up a young people’s environmental awareness group in sixth form. But ICS confirmed my desire for active citizenship in a way. I have probably done more in the month since I have been back than I would have done otherwise. To find out more about ICS, visit...