Second Expert Workshop with our Global Citizen Scholars!

“Start small, start with something and have trust that it will grow.”

Zoe Kelland

This week, our Global Citizen Scholars had the opportunity to attend their 2nd Expert Workshop hosted by the BKMC featuring Zoe Kelland, Digital Campaigns Director at Global Citizen.

During the workshop, Zoe shared her experiences working with both Global Citizen and her own NGO Nakuru Children’s Project in Kenya and offered advice on how to scale a movement. She also had the opportunity to hear from each scholar about their own SDG Micro-Project for their communities.

During her presentation, Zoe shared some background information about Global Citizen, including their mission and the tools they use to activate over 4 million global citizens around the world.

Zoe also highlighted the organization’s tremendous impact over its’s 10-years of existence.

Additionally, to illustrate the way that Global Citizen works, Zoe exemplified a case-study in Sub-Saharan Africa where 1 in 10 girls miss school during their menstrual cycles. In 2018, Global Citizen organized a massive music festival in Johannesburg, South Africa in honor of Nelson Mandela’s 100th birthday. In the lead-up to the festival, Global Citizens sent 86,000 emails and 22,000 tweets to the South African Government demanding removal of the tax on sanitary products, funding for adequate sanitation in schools, and the provision of quality menstrual hygiene education for boys and girls. As a result, President Ramaphosa appeared on the stage during the festival and committed to taking action to provide sanitary products to girls with vulnerable backgrounds across the country.

Zoe also shared a bit about her NGO Nakuru Children’s Project in Kenya. Nakuru works in partnership with government schools to support vulnerable children through every stage of their education: providing free school meals; building classrooms; paying their school fees; and establishing extra support for children with special needs.

Since its founding over 10 years ago, Nakuru Children’s Project has directly impacted an estimated 2,000 children — through providing 330,000 free school meals; sponsoring 148 kids through secondary school; building 20 classrooms and other facilities; and creating a special needs unit where 42 children now learn.

To conclude her presentation, Zoe offered her advice for how to scale a movement:

  • Find a gap in the Market
  • Make it accessible
  • Tap into influencers
  • Use the power of storytelling
  • Start small and it will grow

To learn more about Global Citizen visit: https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/

To learn more about Nakuru Children’s project: https://www.nakuruchildrensproject.org.uk/

Ban Ki-moon and Vanessa Nakate discuss how to save the world at Forum Alpbach

On August 26, 2020, Ban Ki-moon Centre Co-chair Ban Ki-moon and young climate activist Vanessa Nakate from Uganda, took the stage at the first-ever digital European Forum Alpbach to discuss the role of youth activism in building a better future. 

“How to Save the World?”

The session had more than 900 live viewers and was moderated by the Editor in Chief of Politico Europe, Stephen G.Brown. Keynote speeches by Ban Ki-moon and Vanessa Nakate were followed by a moderated discussion, answering questions shared by the diverse and global audience.

In his speech, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon underlined that tackling climate change is an urgent international problem that needs an international solution; the impacts of climate change are being felt around the world and the most vulnerable populations are facing the brunt of the consequences. He stated, “Our Earth itself is running a fever.”

Vanessa Nakate, a youth climate justice activist and founder of the Rise up Movement, called for action to address the climate crisis, highlighting the importance of youth activism, smart agriculture and better infrastructure in fighting #climatechange, protecting the only planet we have.  She emphasized, “We cannot achieve the SDGs without #climateaction.”

Ban Ki-moon gave credit to civil society actors, particularly youth and women, who are speaking out and galvanizing others to address climate change and to develop innovative and sustainable solutions. He said, “I applaud all these young leaders for their wisdom, their passion, and their hard work in combating climate change.”

The discussion also addressed the concept of global citizenship and the role of education for youth and girls in providing necessary tools to achieve the SDGs and tackle climate change.

It was also pointed out that gender inequality and the climate crises go hand in hand. Women are disproportionately effected by the negative repercussion of climate change with loss of livelihoods and more. However, they are also an essential part of the solution. Climate action that neglects half of the population, is not sustainable and it is only with the engagement of women and girls that we will overcome this obstacle.

Quoting Secretary-General Ban: “It is essential that we push for gender-responsive policies when addressing climate change – policy-making that includes the voices of women and recognizes their powerful role as stakeholders who can also act to combat climate change.”

Vanessa also drew attention to the need for inclusive action, mentioning that we have to ensure the protection of the planet and its people. She said, “Climate change affects almost every other sustainable development goal. We cannot have gender equality without climate action.”

The highly awaited discussion ended with a question from the audience asking about the importance of inter-generational action.

Ban Ki-moon answered: “We are abusing the privileges given to us by mother nature. If we don’t act now, we will regret it for the next generations.”

Vanessa called for collaboration stating that, “Young people have to work together with the older generation. If we want to fight the climate crisis, we have a lot to learn from them and they have a lot to learn from us.” 

Learn more about Forum Alpbach here. 

Watch The First #superwomen Interview with Aya Chebbi

On August 6, 2020, the Ban Ki-moon Centre launched a new interview series: #superwomen. The first guest for the series hosted by BKMC CEO Monika Froehler, was Aya Chebbi the first African Union Envoy on Youth.  

#superwoman in this new Ban Ki-moon Centre interview series that highlights the stories of incredible female role models, who have a special calling and are making an impact on the world.

Aya Chebbi, a Pan-African activist, Tunisian diplomat, and feminist, became the first appointed African Union Envoy on youth in November 2018. During the interview, she was able to give insight into her background and the moment she decided on her path.

She described this moment during the Tunisian Revolution as “It starts from identity. If you don’t know who you are,  if you don’t tell the world who you are, the world starts putting labels on you. I started a blog and the conversation about who we were and about the revolution.”

Answering why she is the person she is today she mentioned the first moment she realized her calling “When I was 9. There was a ritual to ‘save’ a girl’s virginity. After crying that night, I realized there had been a violation of rights because of my gender. I became convinced that these practices were weapons of patriarchy. That’s when I became a feminist.” 

She continued “The second turning point was when the rebel in me turned into a political voice. I didn’t think that I could be on the frontline and speak up. But we stood up even though we knew that the person next to us could be shot, killed, or imprisoned.”

The #superwomen concluded the interview by a little guidance “Your power is your radical self. Find it, and live with it. You don’t just dream about it. Be that person and go liberate yourself.”

Watch the full interview below and don’t miss the word-rap at the end. 

#Feminism: is radical when women support women #Growth: inner peace #Africa: what I breathe and live for every day, every soul, my mind, everything.

The second #superwomen interview will be held on September 2nd with the UN Youth Envoy Jayathma Wickramanayake.

BKMC joined the #Y20 Working Meeting on Global Citizenship

On 28 July 2020, the Ban Ki-moon Centre along with UNICEF and Generation Unlimited  featured in a Y20 working meeting on global citizenship, speaking to 45 youth delegates, who represent the young generation of the G20 countries.

The Y20 Youth Summit is a youth-led event that convenes young leaders from all G20 countries to discuss and debate the G20 Leaders’ agenda. The Group of 20, also known as G20, is the premier forum for international economic cooperation and brings together the leaders of both developed and developing countries from every continent to discuss financial and socioeconomic issues.

In an effort to include the voices of civil society and the scientific community, the forum receives input from various engagement groups, who meet in tandem with the G20 and keep up a dialogue with policymakers.

Monika Froehler, CEO of the BKMC, was invited to provide input on the topic of Global Citizenship Education during the Y20 virtual working meeting on Global Citizenship. Froehler emphasized that “The principles of GCED should be interwoven into every level of education.” highlighting that “Only 7% of humankind knows about the SDGs”. Representatives from UNICEF stressed the urgency to invest in adolescents to bring about sustainable development and exemplified their work on youth engagement all around the world.

This year’s Y20 engagement group focuses on the areas of Future Fit, Youth Empowerment, and Global Citizens, digging into the topics of future skills, future of work, entrepreneurship, decision-making inclusion, leadership development, multiculturalism, and sustainable development.

With the newly acquired knowledge during the meeting, it is now up to the Y20 delegates to interweave lessons learned about Global Citizenship into their Y20 Communiqué, which will serve to inform G20 decision-makers at the summit in Fall 2020.

The First Expert Workshop for our Scholars is Complete!

The BKMC Global Citizen Scholars attended their very first “Expert Workshop” on Thursday, July 23rd. The scholars had the unique opportunity to discuss funding opportunities with expert Katharina Meder, Deputy Head of Program for Water and Energy for Food at the GIZ (German Agency for International Cooperation).

During the online workshop, Katharina gave a brief overview of the GIZ and the four different funding options that the company offers: service contracts, public-private partnerships, calls for solutions, and grants/financing contracts for non-profits. She also elaborated on the different processes for applying and receiving these grants.

 

Additionally, she spent time sharing examples of projects that the GIZ funds, particularly for Water and Energy for Food.

Following her presentation, the scholars were able to ask questions and get feedback about their individually proposed SDG Micro-Projects. For many of the scholars, the topic of Water and Energy for Food is very relevant for their projects which deal with sustainable agriculture and wastewater management.

The BKMC is grateful to Katharina for taking the time to share her expertise and insights with our young changemakers! Learn more about our scholars and scholarship program here.

Getting to Know our Global Citizen Scholars


On July 10, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens hosted an introductory session with the BKMC Global Citizen Scholars 2020. CEO Monika Froehler and Program Officer Julia Zimmerman joined the scholars via Zoom to discuss their individual SDG Micro-Projects, how the scholarship is going so far, and what to expect from the upcoming months.

The 6 scholars who come from various countries in Africa (Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, and Zimbabwe), had already participated in an online one-week training program with the University of Bordeaux. The intensive ​online training focused on “COVID-19 in #Africa: multidisciplinary insights”.

During the session, CEO Froehler introduced the Centre and detailed the Centre’s current projects. Following CEO Froehler’s presentation, each scholar made short presentations of their proposed SDG Micro-Projects. Many team members  of the BKMC were able to listen to the scholars’ project summaries and ask questions. At the end of the session, Program Officer Julia Zimmerman shared the timeline and details for the rest of the scholarship period.

The scholars will now focus primarily on implementing their own #SDG projects, but will also benefit from one-on-one mentoring with a professor from the University of Bordeaux and Expert Workshops hosted by the BKMC.

You can learn more about our scholars and their projects below. The projects focus on wastewater management, sustainable agriculture, increasing food security, reducing violence in urban slums, and supporting girls with menstrual hygiene education and resources.

 

Akasua Pepra

Akosua is a trained engineer, policy analyst, climate change and sustainability advisor and a youth change leader who is currently leading the Business Incubator Program of Recycle Up Ghana. Her SDG Micro-Project is focused on improving climate-resilient agriculture practices among widows and orphans in local communities of Ghana widows. She is in the process of adapting her project to the current circumstances around COVID-19.


Tafadzwa Schikonye

Tafadzwa is a young change-maker from Zimbabwe. Her SDG Micro-Project tackles wastewater management systems in Africa through a Zimbabwean case-study. Her main objective it to lobby for the establishment and adoption of sustainable urban wastewater systems and practices in Zimbabwe.


Ruvimbo Samanga

Ruvimbo (Ru) is the National Point of Contact for Zimbabwe in the Space Generation Advisory Council and the Women in Aerospace Africa Chapter. She is also a policy analyst at Space In Africa. Her project focuses on creating data solutions for small-scale farming in Zimbabwe by developing satellite-based solutions able to cater to the specific needs and resources of communities and lands in Zimbabwe.


Oduor Kevin

Oduor Kevin is from Kenya and is a public health expert, currently serving as the Chief Programs Officer for Stowelink Inc., a youth-led organization working to tackle the burden of non-communicable diseases. His project centers around reducing food waste through the drying of excess crops for later consumption.


Barbara Nakijoba

Barbara Nakijoba is from Uganda and is a monitoring and evaluation officer who is working with Uganda Youth Development Link (UYDEL). Her project works to reduce violence in urban slums of Kampala by supporting at vulnerable youth with opportunities for vocational training and entrepreneurship.


Hikmat Baba Dua

Hikmat is a young leader from Ghana committed to girls’ empowerment and founder of the organization ‘League of Young Female Leaders.’ Her SDG Micro-Project project aims to promote menstrual hygiene education and improving access to menstrual products through sensitization, cost-effective and environmentally sustainable means in rural communities in Ghana.

Partnership and Cooperation for the Future: The role of youth, security and education


On July 8th, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens joined the second online session for RAUN scholars 2020.

This year, RAUN is organizing its program around UN 75, combining expert lectures and presentations online with focus group work to engage young academics in discussing some of today’s most complex global challenges. Each session will focus on the importance of partnership and international cooperation in times of crisis.

Today, July 8th, Ban Ki-moon Centre CEO Monika Froehler participated in the 2nd session of the program. During her talk “Youth, global citizenship and Education for Justice” she gave the scholars an introduction to global citizenship education and its importance for especially young people in the 21st century. She highlighted that today we see the biggest generation of youth in history, and their empowerment can first and foremost come from formal and informal education, especially education about sustainable development. She urged the scholars to focus on SDG 3 (good health and well-being) and SDG 4 (quality education) as they are most affected by the pandemic and need to be prioritized by the international community. 

“Make yes your mantra. We rise with challenges. Grasp the opportunities of whatever is thrown at you.” Monika Froehler

 

The online event also welcomed Heather Wokusch, a longtime partner of the BKMC, who discussed the future of work and education in a post-COVID19 era. She mentioned the repercussions of the influence that businesses and artificial intelligence have on education. As an expert in the education field, she emphasized that the positive humanitarian impact is missing from the development of 21st-century education and that in these disruptive times, we see an imbalance in our value systems vs. technology.

This is where the relevance of the SDGs comes in: The SDGs are not there as a nice show, but they are a guide!” Heather Wokusch

As a final outcome, participants will be required to submit a policy brief/paper of 10 to 15 pages. The policy brief/paper will include background information about the issue, ideas about the kind of future we want to create and common goals, an evaluation of the progress made towards achieving the goals (including milestones and challenges), and effective measures to support the process. Learn more about the program here.

 

Final Day of Online Training with the University of Bordeaux: Global Citizen Scholars 2020

Last Friday, June 26th, the 2020 Global Citizen Scholars completed their online intensive training course on “Africa and COVID-19: Multidisciplinary Insights” with the University of Bordeaux.

On the final day, the scholars presented the results of their group work. Each group was comprised of 4-5 participants, including both BKMC Global Citizen Scholars and other attendees of the course. The groups were assigned to cultivate a multidisciplinary and international team that was tasked with preparing a presentation as a specific stakeholder. It was designed as a “roll-play” exercise, where the young academics were given the opportunity to pitch their ideas for addressing COVID-19 related challenges in Africa directly to decision-makers.

One team, including BKMC scholar Tafadzwa Sachikonye, presented as an NGO addressing a foundation to ask for funds to address the spread of COVID-19 in a refugee camp in Nigeria.

In another presentation, including BKMC scholar Ruvimbo (Ru) Samanga, the group presented as international experts addressing the Nigerian government, offering recommendations for alternatives to re-confinement.

   

Another group, including BKMC scholar Odour Kevin, presented as a group of scientists addressing the WHO African Regional Office and compared four different African country’s responses to COVID-19.

 

Finally, after all the presentations were completed, the scholars had a round of feedback and shared their thanks for the opportunity to take the course.

Moving forward, the BKMC Global Citizen Scholars will now begin implementation of their proposed SDG Micro-Projects which will take place over the next 6-months. Furthermore, they will attend expert meetings and workshops hosted by the BKMC and benefit from one-on-one mentoring.

Stay tuned for more exciting updates as we continue to share information about this year’s scholars!

BKMC Took Stage at the RELX #SDGinspiration Day

On June 24th, RELX hosted the seventh SDG Inspiration Day filled with partnered with  a series of engaging, interactive and stimulating events. The event was curated in collaboration with Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens, Global Citizen,  Responsible Media Forum, UN Global Compact India, UN Global Compact UK. The virtual event explored topics including post Covid-19 opportunities for the Goals, innovations towards achieve the Goals and the ‘new normal’  for the #SDGs.

The Ban Ki-moon Centre took stage at three different sessions throughout the day. CEO Monika Froehler joined as a panelist for the session on, “Inclusion and Equality: leave no-one behind to achieve the goals.” The session included inspirational panelists such as Akanksha Sharma, Head of Sustainability and CSR at Sterlite Technologies Ltd., and Sello Hatang, President of the Nelson Mandela Foundation. 

“There are 4 ways to continue our work towards achieving the SDGs. Cooperation, Activism, Technology, and Compassion. The latter is important in that we understand we have more in common than what differentiates us. Only then we will leave no one behind.” CEO Monika Froehler.

Although we are met with many problems in regard to inclusion and the global divide, the speakers conveyed the importance of global citizenship education as a solution to mending these inequalities.

Later during the event, Program Officer Julia Zimmerman hosted a session included in the “Innovation Fair” featuring two of the Centre’s Ban Ki-moon Global Citizen Scholars of 2020. Julia shared two videos of the scholars explaining their work towards the SDGs and their proposed SDG Micro-Projects for the scholarship.

Mr. Odour Kevin is working in Kenya, Nairobi, for sustainable food management and reducing food waste, and Ms. Tafadzwa is working for sustainable wastewater management in Zimbabwe.

During his presentation, Mr. Oduor Kevin said, “The problem of food insecurity is so huge. It’s an elephant. It cannot only be left to governments, it cannot only be left to organizations, we must all do something.”

In her presentation, Ms. Tafadzwa stated that “As much as accessing clean water is important, for the sustainability of water and health, there is a need for equal attention to be paid to wastewater and what happens to water after it has been used. It is the responsibility of both the provider and the recipients of water.”

To learn more about our scholarship program, click here.

Eco-Ambassador Talk: Monika Froehler

On June 22nd, 2020, Ban Ki-moon Centre CEO Monika Froehler was a guest speaker for the Eco-Ambassador Talks. The Eco-Ambassador Talks is an interview series coordinated by The Center for Sustainable Development (CSD) of the Earth Institute, Columbia University. The Interview touched the topic of the importance of education for Climate Change and the Ban Ki-moon Centre’s work within this area. You can watch the full interview below.