Welcome to the first in a new blog series where we’ll be introducing you to our ONE Volunteers around the world!
In May we were lucky enough to sit down with Karimot — a ONE Champion in Nigeria who has been involved with ONE for three years — and Michelle — a first-year ONE Youth Ambassador in the UK.
Read on to learn more about these inspiring individuals and find out how you can get involved too!
How did you get involved with ONE?
Karimot: I joined the ONE Campaign because I wanted to use my voice for girls’ rights and youth leadership. I first heard about ONE from the online campaign #GirlsCount. Since then I have been keen on the work ONE does and how I can get involved.
Michelle: I first discovered ONE when I learnt about the Sustainable Development Goals in school. The two goals that stood out in particular were ‘No Poverty’ and ‘Gender Equality’, both of which I learned ONE is very active in working towards. The Poverty is Sexist campaign immediately triggered my interest in the organisation, and I was excited to be part of such a great movement.
What’s been your proudest moment as a volunteer with ONE so far?
Karimot: My proudest moment as a ONE volunteer was when I got the opportunity to represent ONE at European Youth Week 2019. It felt surreal to sit at the parliament not just as a participant but as a speaker. I had the opportunity to talk about youth participation in politics in Africa. Another proud moment was when I chaired the organisation of the ONE #VoteYourFuture Youth Summit in my region. It was amazing to be part of a major campaign to drive national growth!
Michelle: I was able to meet with a member of my MP’s team to discuss the impact and importance of the Global Fund, as its replenishment is nearing but some are in favour of cuts to international aid. I was proud to be part of an amazing group of people that understand the crucial need for aid and are aware of the benefits of the Global Fund. I also know how important it is to speak to our leaders and let them know what we care about.
Why is youth involvement in activism essential?
Karimot: When young people come together to use their voice and action, it gives them a sense of purpose and also open their minds on broader issues. Young people between the ages of 10-24 constitute nearly a quarter of the world’s population. If this significant number of people can voice their anger channel it towards societal development, the world will move towards the right direction. It is important that young people champion causes that are aimed at societal development.
Michelle: Youth involvement is vital in activism because as young people it is our job to make leaders and politicians aware of the issues that we are passionate about. In order for us to hold people accountable for the decisions they make that impact millions of lives, we need to make it evident that we are not impartial about said decisions. As young people, it is so important that we let our voices be heard and pave the way for future generations to see the positive impact of activism.
Want to get involved too? Sign up to become a ONE Member now!
ONE welcomes the contributions of guest bloggers but does not necessarily endorse the views, programs, or organisations highlighted.