This is a guest blog by Dutch Youth Ambassador Nicole.
As a Youth Ambassador for ONE, I was eager to change something about the world, to learn about politics and poverty and to develop new skills. I can definitely state that I got all of this from the youth ambassador programme, and more!
I would not necessarily describe myself as a shy person, but I am still someone who is a little bit more reserved, and does not approach people that easily. As a ONE Youth Ambassador I went to several festivals to talk to visitors about ONE and all the amazing work they do – teaching people what ONE stands for and asking them to sign petitions is very important and does make a difference.
The first time I went to a festival I was not looking forward to it to be honest, but once I started talking to people, I really enjoyed myself! The Youth Ambassadors programme has really helped me to develop better verbal communication skills. Conversations with strangers have become much easier, and I am more confident about sharing my own opinion on matters around international development. I’m grateful to be able to take these skills with me – I know they will help me a lot, especially as I’m at the start of my career.
Learning about how you can influence politics
While it usually doesn’t seem so, small gestures can have a big impact. Initially I did not think sending tweets to Dutch politicians would make a difference, but I stand corrected. I signed up for Twitter and I started tweeting actively, to various politicians, one of which was minister Ploumen – and I actually got to meet her in person! I got a chance to talk to her about the fight against poverty, and it was very interesting to talk to her about her policies. I now have a much better understanding of how Dutch politics work, and about how I – as a young person – can make my voice heard. Small gestures can result into something way bigger, especially if we as young people unite.
How to stay positive!
Though the fight against poverty is serious business, ONE has taught me to always stay positive. By approaching politicians and other people with a positive attitude, you can make a difference in the world. People are much more open to listening to your story, and feel free to talk about their own experiences and ideas. By having a conversation, people become more aware of the importance of fighting poverty. It has also given me new insights, and it has helped me appreciate the little thing in life more.
Has Nicole’s story made you keen to become a Youth Ambassador? Join the programme in 2017!