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.
Ⓒ BKMC / Eugenie Berger