How to make the most out of the beginning of summer in Belgium? Well, if you ask a ONE Youth Ambassador, the answer would be: ‘Make your voice heard at the heart of EU institutions!’
In the months leading up to the G7 summit, our Belgian ONE Youth Ambassadors joined peers across Europe in the GenerAction roadshow. From a festival in Leuven to an event at Parc Royal, they asked people to write postcards to world leaders asking them to Rewrite the Future.
They also went to the Esplanade Solidarność in front of the European Parliament to speak to MEPs and EU policymakers. Youth Ambassadors invited MEPs passing by to stop by and play the Crush the Crises game – which got very competitive! Activists then reminded them of their asks to G7 leaders:
- Rewrite the rules on global health
- Rebuild the global economy
- Revive the planet
- Respond to the threat of famine.
There was one more place our activists had to go to make a noise: The European Developments Days (EDD). This yearly event brings the development community together to discuss the most pressing challenges. So, how do you stand out at an event that brings together the top organisations and individuals in the field? Well, here’s our ONE Youth Ambassadors’ checklist:
✅ An eye-catching stand (with energetic activists)
Highlighting the converging challenges the world is facing, our Crush the Crises game became the talk of the conference! We also set up a wall where attendees could also share their vision for the future. From “delivering climate justice” to “ending wars” to “fighting disease and poverty”, there is a lot of work ahead.
Today we are at #EDD22, come and visit our stand at H07-L to:
🎮 play ‘Crush the crises’ game
🙌 meet our #ONEActivists
🖊️ write your own message to G7 leaders
👀 win prizes
⚡️ become part of #GenerAction pic.twitter.com/E9hXgw2dZL
— ONEinEU (@ONEinEU) June 21, 2022
✅ Get heard on social media
Our ONE Youth Ambassadors Hajar and Barbara joined Elisha Caleb, the UN Young Leader for SDGs & Commonwealth Youth Council Secretary-General, and Anaïs Matthey-Junod, representative of the NORCAP Female Accelerator Programme, to discuss youth activism during crises in a Twitter Spaces discussion. In case you missed it, you can listen below. Hajar summed up the urgency of this campaign:
“The future is closer than we think. These years will be crucial and will lay the foundation for future generations. This is a historical moment, when future generations will look back at these years you don’t want to have been on the wrong side of history, no one wants to be remembered as the leader who could’ve done something but decided not to because it was the harder choice. Postponing action will not buy us more time, it will just make it harder, and we don’t know if it’s going to be too late by then since we’re already seeing the consequences right now.”
💡 Live from #EDD22: How can activism adapt to the converging crises of conflict, COVID-19, and climate?
🎙️ Join our discussion today at 2pm CET with @_hajarerraji, @barbaramarryk1, @AskElisha, and @anaismattheyj.
— ONEinEU (@ONEinEU) June 21, 2022
✅ Make your voice heard via expert panels
Youth Ambassadors Desmond and Jonas brought their voices to the Diaspora Youth Talk and the GenerAction summit panel events. They discussed the climate movement and the paths out of this moment of crisis.
✅ Meet with government, civil society and the private sector representatives
To spread their messages, they met decision-makers in the European Commission, Dr Alakija, Co-Chair of the African Vaccine Delivery Alliance, and innovators in the private sector. Our Youth Ambassadors met many high-level participants!
✅ Remind leaders why you’re there!
As our Youth Ambassador Jonas said in his intervention at the GenerAction summit, “I would like to see a clear path to tackle the crises of COVID-19, conflict, famine, and climate which also means tangible investments and youth involvement”