I am honored to have had the opportunity to attend the Youth Assembly: Dare to Reshape the World as a delegate for the National Federation of Business and Professional Women Club. It was an exciting and informative experience for those three days from August 12-14th.
The program in general held various themes on the UN SDGS. Among the topics were diversity, equity and inclusion in global careers, education in crisis: refugees and displaced persons, bridging digital divide and technological advancements, the roles of young people in promoting and implementing the sustainable development goals, climate change, leadership, etc.!
The opening ceremony took place at United Nations Headquarters where AFS Youth Assembly delegates and leaders joined live to celebrate the International Youth Day. Among the program were some opening remarks from various leaders, a panel discussion on intergenerational solidarity and a special NYC Mayoral Proclamation.
Day 2 was filled with engaging panels and workshops. We attended the career opportunities at the Opportunities Fair where we had the opportunities to navigate global opportunities and build connections.
The exhibition showcased international non-profits, UN programs and agencies, and corporations as well as campaigns and initiatives to be involved in. The most exciting part of that second day was the AFS Award for Young Global Citizens pitches. This award recognizes young people for their commitment to improve the global community and contribution to a more just, peaceful, and tolerant world.
What made it more exciting for me is the fact that Emily Vanvleck, my colleague, and delegate from the NFBPWC was among the 10 selected finalists to pitch their projects in front of a panel of juries to win $10,000. She delivered an amazing presentation about the NFBPWC’s Afghan Women Project.
The wrap day was also filled with engaging activities, panels, and workshops and a project showcase where I was selected to participate in the Youth Assembly’s Action and Impact Hub: Project Showcase. This was a great opportunity for delegates to show off the impactful projects they have been working on. There again, Emily and I had the opportunity to present our work to other delegates and attendees by providing a poster board and flyers about the NFBPWC’s Afghan Women Project.
We also had the chance to interact with other presenters regarding their project. The program ended with a CultureFest with live performances and a Cultural Fashion Show where delegates from over 60 countries wore their national attire, went on stage to celebrate diversity.
I got a lot from this Youth Assembly. The Impact Hub Showcase gave me the opportunity to talk to other delegates about their work and campaigns and how our organization can collaborate with them.
At the Opportunity Fair, I also had the opportunity to interact with leaders and learned about different companies, initiatives and campaigns that will be great to get involved with. At the CultureFest, I was exposed and learned about new cultures and countries' flags.
From the workshops and panel discussion, I learned more about grants, ways to approach them and various websites to find them. I also learned about fellowships and scholarship programs that can be very beneficial to the organization. I also got various networking contacts from the UN Civil society and organization, the USAID, UNDP etc.
I can't thank the NFBPWC enough for this great opportunity as I can not quantify the experience, knowledge and network I got from that Assembly.
By Djenabou Bah
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