After 3 days, 17 sessions, 7 training sessions, 14 speakers, and a total of 46,800 seconds of screen time, we officially launched the 8th edition of the Youth Ambassador Programme in Belgium!
We’re taking a step back to reflect on the kick-off, which for the first time took place online. Eight of our brilliant new volunteers have helped gather everything you need to know about our Y.O.U.T.H. programme and some insights from our activists:
Y – Youth Ambassador Programme is back in Belgium!
ONE Youth Ambassadors – part of ONE’s Global Activists programme – are a dedicated team of volunteers who electrify our campaigns across Europe. They engage decision-makers, work with the media, and encourage the public to sign ONE petitions through online activity and, when national health regulations would allow it at, local events.
Last week we kicked off a new edition of the Youth Ambassador Programme in Belgium, with 55 new volunteers who will be fighting along our side until the end of the year!
“Fighting for a good cause created a wonderful connection among us as a voice for the global youth. There was a positive atmosphere and so much energy to create a better future. This is important in this digital age as it is difficult to convince people to stand up for change when everything is happening online.” – Jonas, ONE Youth Ambassador
O – Occasions to get to know each other
Allowing Youth Ambassadors to get to know each other was one of our priorities. As such, from an online “speed dating” session and a fun fact bingo, to an @home scavenger hunt and a virtual dinner, Youth Ambassadors had the opportunity to interact and share their thoughts and ideas about shaping a better tomorrow.
“The icebreakers were designed not only to cheer up the team and help us know each other, but also encourage bonding and an understanding that we are in this together and that each of our voices matters. The ONE Team turned the virtual environment into a home and brought a feeling of belonging, and a warm embrace for diversity.” – Desmond, ONE Youth Ambassador
The @home scavenger hunt was particularly helpful in creating this sense of togetherness. Split into seven different groups, the Youth Ambassadors had five days to complete tasks and gather points. These tasks included talking to family and friends about ONE’s campaign aimed at raising awareness on the global learning crisis, getting creative in spreading the message that “none of us are safe until all of us are a safe” through social media, and recording videos of themselves reading out loud ONE’s petition calling on leaders to invest in every child’s future (in more than 10 languages – yes, we do have a polyglot bunch!).
The eight Youth Ambassadors who helped with this blog are the winning team of the @home scavenger hunt! You can see their group picture above.
“The scavenger hunt was perhaps the best way to see how a small group can have a big impact and that common purpose and drive can overcome any lack of technical knowledge. The versatility of the tasks was a brilliant way to see in how many ways and styles Youth Ambassadors can influence our globalized world.” – Barbara, ONE Youth Ambassador
U – Unique group of Youth Ambassadors working together to make a change
Multiculturalism and multilingualism are at the heart of this year’s group — it’s composed of 55 Youth Ambassadors representing 24 different nationalities, from Nigeria, to Brazil, Slovakia, Uzbekistan, and Nicaragua. Aged between 17 and 34 years old, they all come from different paths in life but are driven by the same motivation: to work side by side to end extreme poverty and preventable disease!
This variety of profiles brings together a multitude of perspectives, ideas, and skills, which we are excited to see working together to electrify our campaigns across Europe!
“Not only do our profiles, brought into a unique ONE framework, represent us as a unitary whole, but it also shows the world an accurate representation of the diversity of young people fighting for the cause of ending extreme poverty and preventable disease. Different nationalities, different ages, different perspectives, but all united in ONE!” – Ileana-Ancuta, ONE Youth Ambassador
T – Tools and Training to succeed as a Youth Ambassador
Throughout the launch, we provided the Youth Ambassadors with the tools and training to build their confidence and readiness to become successful advocates for a better world. The policy and campaign trainings allowed Youth Ambassadors to get up to speed with ONE’s current priorities, campaigns, and actions, and the social media and media trainings advised Youth Ambassadors on how to make their voices heard online and how to approach media outlets.
“There is this well-known phrase: ‘Good preparation is half the work’, which is why the trainings provided by ONE are crucial. They provided key skills such as: influencing political leaders, launching advocacy campaigns, pressuring governments to do more by using social media or simply raising awareness. In addition, we also received valuable skills for a lifetime!” – Munera, ONE Youth Ambassador
Understanding how the European Union and its institutions work is key to ensure that Youth Ambassadors’ actions can be impactful and bring about real change — so we held a briefing by the European Parliament on its functioning and role for our YAs. Moreover, they had the opportunity to e-meet Renaud Savignat, a Member of Cabinet of the EU Commissioner for International Partnerships, which provided them with great tips on how to be successful in their mission.
“Thanks to an insightful EP briefing and an inspiring meeting with Renaud Savignat, we became familiar with the political environment we face as ONE Youth Ambassadors and received excellent advice on how we can target our activism. Whether through social media or in-person, it is about speaking out and making our voices heard.” – Louisa, ONE Youth Ambassador
H – Hopeful and ready
We’ll let two of our Ambassadors close us out on a hopeful note. We wish all our new YAs the warmest welcome. We are sure that they will accomplish amazing results in 2021!
After this launch, I cannot wait to contribute by informing people about what ONE does through the newspaper, social networks… I hope to be able to share this feeling that we are all actors of change, to share what we can implement to achieve this change. Beyond words there are real actions! – Stephanie, ONE Youth Ambassador
The launch hyped me up about the future with ONE, it was a great experience from the ice breakers to the policies briefing that let us know how important it is for us to try to make a change. I am more than ready for the changes to start. – Roann, ONE Youth Ambassador