Ban Ki-moon Global Citizen Scholars 2020 – Closing Ceremony

On December 15, 2020, the Ban Ki-moon Global Citizen Scholarship Program 2020’s Closing Ceremony took place. The BKMC, together with RELX & University of Bordeaux awarded, six extraordinary African Global Citizen Scholars – Akosua PepraOduor Kevin, Hikmat Baba Dua, Tafadzwa Sachikonye, Barbara Nakijoba, and Ruvimbo Samangafor successfully completing the scholarship program and implementing outstanding SDG Micro-Projects in their communities 

The Ceremony was opened by Co-chair Ban Ki-moon, who greeted participants in a video statement and welcomed the scholars to the alumni family of the BKMC, expressing support and gratitude for the scholars’ contributions to the Agenda 2030: More than ever the world needs young leaders like yourselves. It makes me proud that you have chosen to be ambassadors of global citizenship and that we can consider you as a valued member of the BKMC family. 

Márcia Balisciano, Global Head of Corporate Responsibility at RELX Group and a valued member of the BKMC Board, also addressed the audience.  Márcia Balisciano expressed RELX’s enthusiasm for funding the Ban Ki-moon Global Citizen Scholarship Program 2020 while sharing exciting news, We are thrilled to have participated in this program and we would like to announce that we would like to fund this program again next year.”  

BKMC CEO Monika Froehler also congratulated the scholars and emphasized the impact they have created with their projects: This is exactly what a global citizen mindset is about: global citizen values and 21st-century skills. We are honored that we had the chance to have worked with you.  

The University of Bordeaux, represented by Vice President for External Relations Stéphanie Debette, shared her words of congratulations and also positive feedback from professors at the university who mentored the scholars during their SDG Micro-project implementation.

The highlight of the ceremony was the presentations by our GC scholars where they shared the impact they have created in their communities. 

To improve the livelihoods of widows and orphans involved in farming, GC Scholar Akosua Pepra developed the SDG Micro-Project “Climate Resilient Agriculture for Widows and Orphans in Rural Communities in Ghana” (SDGs 1, 2, 5 and 13).  


Barbara Nakijoba, deeply passionate about youth empowerment, conceptualized the “Youth take the lead”  in the Rugaba Division in Uganda to create a more peaceful society by reducing crime by 2021 (SDG 16). 


Action4Periods by Hikmat Baba Dua, created a safe space for 60 women and girls in rural communities in Mbanaailiy (Ghana) by engaging elders, women and girls to discuss the stigma of menstrual hygiene and produced 60-70 reusable pads, improving access to menstrual products (SDG 3, 4, 5 and 13).  


 

GC scholar Oduor Kevin founded INFO4FOOD, as he realized that food waste was dumped on the roads by vendors contributing to environmental degradation. With his project he prevented post-harvest losses, reaching 87 households in Kenya.


 

Ruvimbo Samanga’s project Agrispace, helps farmers in Zimbabwe gather missing agricultural data by using satellite technology to monitor agricultural productivity, leading to more sustainable and climate-resilient practices. The program can map different agricultural zones providing soil data, weather soil analysis, and monitoring crop health and irrigation, allowing farmers to have better time and yield tools for crops. Agrispace contributes to many SDGs, particularly SDG 2 for “zero hunger” and target 2.1.2 for “food insecurity”.


Tafadzwa Sachikonye raised public and private awareness for improved urban wastewater system in Zimbabwe with her project Waterclix for sustainable urban water systems in Zimbabwe (SDG 6 and also 3, 5, 13).  

   

In the last part of the evening, Program Officer Julia Zimmerman awarded the scholars with their certificate of achievement, and Co-chair Heinz Fischer offered closing remarks, commending all GC scholars 2020 on their efforts, You showed resilience, passion and transformed challenges into opportunities. 

We want to congratulate all of our GC scholars 2020! We are immensely proud of the results of your hard work and look forward to seeing what you do next! Additionally, we want to thank our partners RELX Group and the University of Bordeaux again for their wonderful support and collaboration for the program this year! 

Turning challenges into opportunities – Global Citizen Scholars engage in inspiring talk with Arrey Obenson, CEO of Transformunity

 

Last week, our current Global Citizen Scholars and Alumni from the program had the chance to attend an expert workshop with Arrey Obenson, CEO of Transformunity. Transformunity is a consulting company that tackles the opportunities of organizations, drawing on expertise in movement building and citizens engagement to accelerate positive change and sustainable development for a better future.

Based on his experiences from the past 20 years, Arrey shared his personal theory of change, kicking off the workshop with an inspiring speech on how we can choose between two roles when we approach challenges: spectator or actor. He emphasized that only one role will lead to finding solutions and living a prosperous life.

“I choose to be an actor rather than a spectator. I see life as a stage where we have a choice to be in the audience cheering others on or can use the opportunity to play a role”.

During the workshop, Arrey prepared a thought-provoking exercise for our scholars and alumni and asked them to write down what challenges they saw standing in the way of their success. Afterwards he asked them to determine opportunities within those challenges.

We all know how incredibly challenging this year has been, as our realities were significantly altered by the global pandemic Covid-19. But as Arrey and our global citizen scholars discussed, the crisis has also brought with it many opportunities, including new ways of learning through increased access to online education globally as well as opportunities for international cooperation and gatherings without burdening our resources, both in the financial sense as well as the environmental sense. These are just a few of the opportunities that were shared.

Instead of focusing on challenges alone, Arrey advocated looking at the possible opportunities and solutions. Arrey exemplified Africa as a case where challenges often overshadow the opportunities in the global dialogue. However, he sees so many opportunities! To Arrey, it is a “land of a billion opportunities”, vastly rich in 1.2 billion human resources.

Moreover, he illustrated how his theory has proven successful in his own work. After the outbreak of Covid-19 in Cameroon, Transformunity organized a massive education campaign on health and wellness: “Covid-19 was the challenge, but the opportunity was to build resilience in Cameroonian communities against infectious diseases”.

To conclude his presentation, Arrey encouraged everyone to turn every challenge into an opportunity.

Following the workshop, the scholars had the chance for peer-to-peer exchange with the alumni of the scholarship program who joined the call. After a round of introductions, the scholars were sorted into breakout rooms to connect and network.

At the end of the breakout room rotations, Program Officer Julia, thanked the scholars for their participation and shared ways for them to stay in contact!

We are very excited to celebrate the closing of this year’s scholarship program on December 15th! Stay tuned for information for how you can join the virtual event and watch our scholars present their SDG Micro-Projects!

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/

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.

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!

The 2019 Ban Ki-moon Global Citizen scholars present their project ideas to the BKMC Board members!

The new batch of the Ban Ki-moon Global Citizen scholars of this year met with the Ban Ki-moon Centre team and its Board members in Alpbach on August 25th. A total of 6 scholars were chosen this year respectively from Rwanda, South Korea, Ghana, Jordan, and Nigeria. The scholars presented their innovative ideas and projects aimed to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in front of the Centre’s co-chairs and Board members and received some suggestions and advice on how to move forward with strategic plans to make the most impact. Salahaldeen Alazaizeh, who is a Business & Innovation Designer at مؤسسة فاي للعلوم Phi Science Institute introduced “Xi Education” which is a social enterprise that aims to educate undergraduate students, equip them with advanced skills and give them an interactive experience to enhance their knowledge in research, applied science and innovation. He stressed the importance of advancing the SDG 4: Quality Education and creating a solid scientific community of young multi-disciplined youth in Jordan.
“Presenting my project in front of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens team, listening to the inspirational story from Co-chair Heinz Fischer and getting structured feedback from Co-chair Ban Ki-moon himself was one of my best experiences here in Alpbach!” – Salahaldeen Alazaizeh
Eun Ji Scarlett Park from South Korea presented her project idea on “Rain Water Harvesting” by using rainwater jars that are environmentally friendly, cost-efficient, and sustainable. She tackled the issues of increased population and pollution as well as other impacts of climate change.
“I have truly learned to acknowledge myself as a global citizen. As an individual with passion, we can be a good leader; but with the drop of compassion, you can be a global one.” – Eun Ji Park
Oyindamola Adegboye from Nigeria introduced “Common Futures Conversations” initiated by Chatham House: The Royal Institute of International Affairs where she serves as a Country Representative of Nigeria. The program’s objectives are to address the disconnect between young people and traditional policy-making processes at both a national and international level; to use digital dialogues to give young people to opportunity to enhance their understanding, connect with peers and develop their own ideas; to make their voices heard; and to foster more global cooperation on controversial and highly-debated issues. She suggested the digital hub and the CFC communities as solutions.
“I was mostly inspired by the work of the other young scholars who are doing amazing things towards a more equal and sustainable world. The passion and innovation were evident in the atmosphere and I was privileged to be in the midst of such people. They give me hope for the future of the world.” – Oyindamola Adegboye
The “Light to Read” project was initiated by Samuel Afadu who is the founder of Light My World International. In Ghana, “over 6 million people are living without electricity in their homes,” he said.
“Providing solar-powered lamps to school children in communities with no access to electricity in Ghana will enable students to study at night, improving their education and knowledge level while reducing the expense of money used by their parents to provide light for the family.” – Samuel Afadu
Belinda Isimbi Uwase, Founder of the Girls Light Our World (GLOW), explained her project which supports young girls who have recently graduated or are still in high school in Rwanda. She said the group intends to provide a platform for female students to freely express themselves, learn new skills and contribute to their community through volunteering and taking actions. After presenting her project, Uwase said,
“Having the honor of presenting my project to such influential people was a dream come true. I felt an overwhelming feeling of pride and gratitude, and I am so thankful to the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens for giving me this opportunity. I have never felt so proud to be a global citizen.” – Belinda Isimbi Uwase
Daniel Park from South Korea presented his idea of connecting directly with farmers through an online platform in order to empower farmers and to have them have a 100% profit from their products. To execute the project, Park said that there needs to be some support from volunteers and NGOs and that sharing knowledge with others is crucial. After sharing his project ideas, Park expressed his appreciation for having an opportunity to share his ideas and to learn from the other change-makers and leaders from all over the world.
“It was a truly amazing experience in Alpbach where I had an opportunity to see and listen closely to many global leaders such as former SG Ban Ki-moon.” – Daniel Park
One of the scholars from last year Alhassan Muniru, Co-founder of Recycle Up! Ghana, also participated in the meeting to share his experience and his own project ideas with the new scholars. The BKMC Board members, including the co-chairs, congratulated the scholars on their progress made and encouraged them to continue their impact while applying a global citizenship mindset. At the end of the presentations, the scholars were awarded the “Ban Ki-moon Global Citizen Scholarship” certificate. Learn more: https://bankimooncentre.org/projects/global-citizen-scholars-fellows Ⓒ BKMC / Eugenie Berger