It is exactly one month since we wrapped up the Online WUSC International Seminar. The seminar allowed young people to learn and share knowledge on issues around gender equality, youth employment, and refugees. Having been nominated by Organization of African Youth (OAY) Kenya, I went through the interviews and was selected to participate in the seminar, a six weeks long event that started in May 3rd, 2021, and ended on June 18th, 2021. It was a great learning experience getting to know the facilitators and the young people representing the different countries across the globe. I was super excited. I knew this would be a life-changing experience for me. As the sessions started, we were introduced to system thinking tools such as Impact Gaps Canvas and Iceberg. Iceberg became my favorite because it helps in critically identifying and analyzing a problem. It presents the idea of an event, patterns, system structure, and mental models underlying the issues.
In the second week, we were instructed to choose a country that we would represent and solve its problems. When I went through Dropbox, my first choice was Ghana. I wanted to have a feel of interacting with nations other than mine. This is not to say that my country, Kenya, does not have problems that need solutions. So, the Ghanaba journey started, Ghanaba being a name meaning Ghana’s child. I remember designing a logo of two young people trying to reach for a star to be used by my team. We would meet on Thursdays to discuss the identified problem which needed to be solved, youth unemployment in Ghana. Having knowledge of system thinking tools, it was a bit easy to understand some of the deep-rooted factors that have led to youth unemployment in Ghana. These factors would be used by WUSC in structuring their programs to youth needs.
We worked tirelessly on our assignment to deliver the mandate we had been tasked with. I picked to present the introductory part of our presentation and I practiced 5 times to ensure it came out satisfactorily.
I remember the fascinating and thought-provoking Meet and Greet Sessions which were one of my favorite moments. The professional stories shared by the WUSC Faculty were captivating and inspiring. The stories were valuable because they taught us a lot about diverse individual experiences.
From the entire engagement, I have come to be keenly aware of the need for all partners to promote youth skills development in all sectors of programming. I am thankful for the opportunity to participate in the Online WUSC International Seminar. I plan to share the knowledge I have acquired from the seminar within the organization I work for and disseminate it also to the young people that I engage within my jurisdiction.
Cheers to Youth Empowerment for Change!