How 200 youths used 72 hours to convince the European Parliament to increase aid


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Our Youth Ambassadors (YAs) are an absolute force to be reckoned with.
Whether they’re lobbying as individuals or together as a group, their determination and passion to create change is nearly impossible to ignore. That’s why the annual ONE Summit is a highlight for everyone involved — this year was no exception!

ONE YAs came together from across Europe — along with a few of our volunteers from Canada, the US and Nigeria — for a three-day summit in Brussels! The schedule was jam-packed with speaker sessions, advocacy prep, quizzes, videos, creative challenges and, of course, lobbying on some of ONE’s most important issues, but our YAs were more than up to the task.

On the first day of the summit, we kicked things off with a bang by hosting the 2017 Youth Ambassador Achievement Awards where over 30 YAs were awarded for their outstanding work this year. Next, they got some pro-tips on how to lobby effectively, shared stories on what it really takes to campaign for ONE, strategised on how to overcome campaigning challenges and took part in an ultra-competitive pub-style quiz before diving into advocacy prep on the EU budget.

By day two of the Summit, YAs were ready to delve deeper into the issues as they participated in Q&A sessions on Poverty is Sexist and Europe’s relationship with Africa, recorded a #GirlsCount video and heard from our North American volunteers.

Later, they were treated to an impromptu (and amazing!) singalong with ONE Champion, Benedicta, plus an engaging discussion on all things ONE with our President and CEO, Gayle Smith.

Despite the early morning wake up call, our YAs were full of energy and eager to meet with MEPs to discuss the EU budget on the final day of the summit. After a quick photo shoot outside the European Parliament, they headed inside where they held 107 successful meetings to defend cuts to aid.

With 3 days of lobbying, learning and a win in Parliament behind them, it was time to go home. We’ll see you next time, #ONEyouth17!

If you want to fight extreme poverty like our Youth Ambassadors click here!


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