Checking in with Aya Chebbi, The African Union Youth Envoy

The Ban Ki-moon Centre had an informative online session with the first ever African Union Special Envoy on Youth and award-winning Pan-African feminist, Aya Chebbi, on Thursday, April 2.

 

The discussion was centered on the AU Youth Envoy´s amazing campaigns and projects in relation to the Coronavirus pandemic that she and her peers have put into action. (Check out https://auyouthenvoy.org/) Aya Chebbi emphasized that the young people of the African continent were working together and in synchronization in their fight against this difficult challenge.

 

Similar to the calls for solidarity from global leaders, she explained “The young generation is working on coordinated efforts and trying to reach every single person we can.” Mentioning the economic challenges of the situation, she underlined the importance of global response funds such as the African Union COVID-19 Response Fund, the one led by the World Health Organization and the donation of 1.5 million test kits made by the Jack Ma foundation to the continent of Africa. Much more is still needed!

 

Working with volunteers and young change-makers, the African Union Youth Envoy has initiated multiple programs to include, educate and mobilize all countries in the region. Aya stated that young people are following the situation closely, trying to be a part of the solution and coming up with remarkable initiatives and action plans.

 

A pioneering project, the Virtual AU Youth Consultations on COVID-19 for Youth Collective Response in collaboration with Africa CDC, is a series of virtual consultations, now completing its 10th round, convened 150 youth leaders from 40 countries, that allows groups of young people to meet online to discuss emotional and physical issues caused by the virus. During these sessions, the attendees are able to learn from each other, brainstorm and come up with action plans on how to tackle urgent problems. The project highlights cross-border cooperation. These enlightening consultations can be held by any person or institution interested. You can find more information and the registration process here.

 

Aya Chebbi also informed the BKMC on the launch of a new initiative called the African Youth Charter Hustlers, a youth-led Pan-African accountability movement, to engage African youths in continental, regional and country-level advocacy across the continent. For more information on youth policy makers you can click here.

 

Another response of the African Union Youth Envoy was to create hotlines for every country on the continent. Anyone who needs support can call these hotline numbers and reach out for the help they need.

 

The Union is leading many more inspiring projects on topics such as policy making, youth advocacy, women entrepreneurship and fundraising. Visit https://ayachebbi.com/ to follow this great initiative and get updates on African efforts and Aya Chebbi.

 

 

 

WEP GCC Certificate Ceremony Held in Diplomatic Academy of Vienna

On November 22, WEP GCC fellows were awarded with certificates for the completion of Women’s Empowerment Program – GCC that kicked off on November 11 and lasted for two weeks.

Co-chair Heinz Fischer opened the ceremony with congratulatory remarks and said that the fellows should construct stronger network to support and stay in touch with each other.


Deputy Director of Diplomatic Academy of Vienna Susanne Keppler-Schlesinger also congratulated the fellows for their hard work and thanked their commitments to advance the Sustainable Development Goals.


Director General Adnan Shihab-Eldin of the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences also delivered a congratulatory remark to the ladies. He said,

“Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences will remain as a partner for the SDGs.”


Lastly, the Ban Ki-moon Centre CEO Monika Froehler said,

“Never say what you cannot do, say what you can do and will do.”

She also thanked BKMC Program Officer Viola Christian for her endeavors and efforts to put together this amazing program.


On behalf of all the WEP GCC fellows, Nourah Aloseimi from Kuwait delivered remarks and expressed gratitude for such inspiring and meaningful opportunities the Ban Ki-moon Centre has provided together with Diplomatic Academy of Vienna.

Before the graduation, the WEP GCC fellows presented about their My SDG Micro-Project proposals, which they will implement in their own communities after the completion of their trainings.

Visit BKMC gallery for more photos.
© BKMC / Eugenie Berger

WEP GCC Fellows Participate in a Round Table: Effective Women Leaders

“I don’t want you to lower your expectation, but I want you to lower your self-criticism.”  – Helena Zimmerdahl from the Embassy of Sweden

Women’s Empowerment Program (WEP) is in its full swing! As a part of BKMC’s Women’s Empowerment Program, WEP GCC fellows participated in a Round Table hosted in Diplomatic Academy of Vienna on November 19.

At this Round Table, Susanne Keppler-Schlesinger, Deputy Director of the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, featured as a moderator at the Round Table.

Speakers were:

Lulua Asaad from UNODC,

Maggie Childs from Metropole and Austrian Startups,

Mona Ali Khalil from MAK Law International, and

Helena Zimmerdahl from the Embassy of Sweden to Austria.

Lulua Asaad asked the fellows a critical question: “What does leadership mean to you?”

“It is important to have support from women within your network, while not neglecting the role of men.”

She also added that leadership is not about a position one is in, but responsibility leaders are capable of taking in their world.

Regarding women’s empowerment, Mona Ali Khalil said,

“Empowerment of women requires men who are enlightened and women who are willing empower each other.”

As an international lawyer, she stressed that gender parity policies should be actual actions rather than lip service and should effectively address sexual harassment/sexual discrimination issues that still exist everywhere across the sectors.

Minister-Counselor Helena Zimmerdahl pinpointed ‘transparency’ as an important trait of a good leader and said we must “speak up” for ourselves to make our voices heard.

Zimmerdahl also advised the fellows to

“look at yourself and your accomplishments from the outside” in order to empower themselves.

Maggie Childs emphasized the need for getting help from mentors, friends and other experts when necessary and said,

“You don’t have to know everything before you do it… It is lonely at the top. You need to have your private space and friends who just listen to you. Having those friends would make you feel less lonely.”

A follow-up workshop was facilitated by WEP Project Coordinator Viola Christian from the Ban Ki-moon Centre. The fellows were grouped into 5 and discussed advice and points made from the Round Table, which they created their own manifesto with.

© BKMC / Eugenie Berger

For more photos of the event, visit BKMC album.

WEP Asia fellows participate in a round table with women leaders

The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global CItizens together with the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna hosted a Round Table: “Effective Women Leadership” for the Women’s Empowerment Program (WEP) Asia participants on October 2nd in Vienna, Austria. The event was moderated by BKMC CEO Monika Froehler and featured outstanding women leaders as panelists:

  • Lulua Asaad, Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Officer at UNODC
  • Selma Prodanovic, CEO and Founder of 1MillionStartups
  • Vera Strobachova Budway, Senior Coordination Advisor, Gender Section, OSCE
  • Helena Zimmerdahl, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Sweden in Vienna

The event provided a secured space where the fellows freely shared their personal stories, discussed various challenges they are facing, and received advice from the senior women leaders. Critical questions were raised such as

“What is a good/bad leader?”

“How can we make men with closed mind listen to us?”

“How can we overcome the challenges we are facing?”

 

 

 

 

 

Prodanovic said that the WEP Asia fellows have already achieved so much and that it is important for them to reflect on what they have done to succeed and think about how to further amplify the efforts.

She said, “the fact that you ladies are here shows that you are among the top 1% that cares about women’s empowerment” and encouraged the group to “follow your inner voice, and do the right thing!”

Budway shared her motto and encouraged the aspiring young women leaders to be “open for new challenges.

She said that one can become an expert in anything that she desires and is passionate about.

“Take risks; don’t be afraid. Step out of your comfort zone!” 

Zimmerdahl also reminded the young fellows that they don’t have to be good at everything. She continued, “Go easy on yourself. You are very capable but do not have to do it all” and encouraged the individuals to create their exit strategy and work on it.

“Even if you have chosen a path, if it does not make you feel comfortable, don’t be afraid to change this path.”

 

 

 

 

Asaad said, “leadership is not only about leading but having an impact on society and on the people around us.” She also stressed that “leadership is also about being authentic and being true to oneself.”

She then added that “the network that we have as women and with women is so important as we are essential in promoting each other” but that “Gender equality is a responsibility for everyone: boys, men, girls, and women.”

In consequence of the round table, Froehler moderated a workshop during which the WEP Asia fellows came up with their own list of the most important elements for being a good woman leader.

The group created a manifesto that consists of total 16 elements with which they will further develop their leadership skills and continue to make changes:

  • Let me be wrong in my way!
  • Lower your expectations.
  • Be vulnerable; Embrace yourself.
  • Dare to delegate.
  • Ask for help when needed.
  • Make small steps and celebrate small successes.
  • Change is not easy, but it was your choice.
  • Amplify; Speak for yourself.
  • Raise your voice even ignored or interrupted.
  • Amplify the voice of another woman.
  • Teach boys and men about gender equality.
  • Share inspirational stories about other women in other communities.
  • Read a book that inspires you.
  • Share what you find inspiring.
  • Find a mentor and a supporting system.
  • Get out of your comfort zone.
© BKMC / Eugenie Berger

WEP Asia fellows participates in the first workshop hosted at the Ban Ki-moon Centre

Change-makersmotivation, and peace. Everything you just said are the definitions of global citizens,” said BKMC CEO Monika Froehler.

The Women’s Empowerment Program fellows participated in an active workshop moderated by CEO Froehler at the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens office on October 1st, 2019. The group actively discussed the meaning of global citizenship, what are their favorite SDGs, and what they could do to achieve the Goals.

Co-chair Heinz Fischer also shared the history of women’s empowerment and what was the role of women in the development of the Austrian and European society.

“Today’s program was so useful for us because we found the SDGs and the connections between these Goals, and we could feel empowered to develop these Goals.” – Sohaila Rezaee from Afghanistan 🇦🇫

“The workshop today was very practical. It taught me skills in how to give my ideas in a structured and organized manner.” – Soo Min Jun from South Korea 🇰🇷

“I learned a lot about global citizenship, what it is to be a global citizen, and we had a lot of fun activities related to the SDGs. It is a very good opportunity to take time to talk about each one of them.” – Catherine Harry from Cambodia 🇰🇭

“I was worried that I felt far from the terms such as SDGs, Global Citizenship, and female leaders, but after this session, I found these terms to be fairly relatable to each one of us, to our countries and to our communities.” – Delgermaa Antangerel from Mongolia 🇲🇳

© BKMC / Eugenie Berger

Watch the video on #WEPAsia Day 2:

© BKMC / Angelika Lauber

The Ban Ki-moon Centre Hosts Second Mentoring Workshop for Austrian Muslim Women

This week, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens hosted the second workshop for its mentoring project for Muslim women in Austria in partnership with the Muslim Youth Austria. The workshop focused on building confidence in the workplace and was conducted by a coach Layla Abu Zahra.

The young mentees participated in exercises examining their strengths and expressing their successes. Coach Abu Zahra shared her 10 steps for confidence and success:

  1. Get things done
  2. Monitor your progress, write things down
  3. Do the right thing
  4. Exercise (your body)
  5. Be fearless
  6. Stand up for yourself
  7. Choose your surroundings wisely
  8. Think long-term
  9. Don’t care what other people think
  10. Do what makes you happy

In September, the final workshop will take place. In the meantime, the mentees are meeting regularly with their mentors and preparing their “Global Citizen Projects” for the final closing event.

We look forward to watching these wonderful young ladies continue to grow through the mentorship process!

BKMC hosts “Advocacy: Your Tool for Change” workshop at the African Youth Development Summit

BKMC CEO Monika Froehler hosted a workshop on “advocacy: your tool for change” at the African Youth Development Summit held in Johannesburg, South Africa on November 30th, 2018.

With 120 advocates, the Summit co-hosted by BKMC partner JCI and Africa 80 aimed to help young African leaders identify the challenges they face and actively seek for solutions for the sustainable future. The 3-day summit was free to attend, and upon successful completion of their participation, each participant received a complimentary ticket to the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 organized by Global Citizen.

BKMC features at the partnership fair of the “SDG Inspiration Day”

“SDG Inspiration Day: The Power of Partnerships to advance the SDGs” was hosted by BKMC partner RELX Group in Zaandam near Amsterdam, the Netherlands on November 6th, 2018. The Centre’s Board Member Márcia Balisciano, who is Director of Corporate Responsibility at RELX, delivered welcome remarks at the opening session.

During the event, the Centre’s Associate Minji Kwag participated in the partnership fair, introducing the vision, mission, and work of the Centre to the participants of the event and potential partners. During the Expert Cafe workout session, people went around the round tables to exchange ideas on how to advance the SDGs. Some of the discussion topics included, but were not limited to, dealing with cultural gaps, addressing the importance of education, building an effective partnership, and empowering the young generation in Africa.

Since RELX Group launched SDG Resource Center to provide a free, interactive education platform curating content related to sustainability research in June 2017, the group has also organized “SDG Inspiration Day” events to inspire more people with the goals and to help them inspire others. As an early signatory of the UN Global Compact (UNGC), RELX uses the SDGs to chart the participation of businesses in achieving the goals.

For more information on the “SDG Inspiration Day” in Amsterdam 2018, visit the event website: https://info.relxgroup.com/nl-sdg-event-2018/index.html
The “SDG Inspiration Day” previously held in San Francisco can be watched on RELX Group’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/REEnvChallenge

The Ban Ki-moon Centre Hosts Workshop on “The Global Citizen Mindset” at JCI World Congress in Goa, India

On November 1st, 2018, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens hosted a workshop at Junior Chamber International’s (JCI) World Congress in Goa, India. The workshop was facilitated by the Centre’s Associate Julia Zimmerman.

The session was entitled “The Global Citizen Mindset.” It focused on advocacy and included examples of best practices which were featured on the panel. Besides sharing best practices, the session helped participants learn more about opportunities to engage in advocacy both through JCI-led initiatives and other global initiatives.

The first part of the session included an introduction of advocacy, global citizenship, and the Ban Ki-moon Centre as well as a short presentation by the Kofi Annan Foundation’s Extremely Together initiative working to combat violent extremism. In addition to receiving an overview of the initiative, a representative from Extremely Together, Hassan Ndugwa from Uganda, shared his personal experience with violent extremism with the participants.

After this, a panel was invited to the stage to share their insights. The panel included Maud Roure from Extremely Together and the Kofi Annan Foundation, Adetola Juyitan from I am Africa Nigera, Pascal Dike from Peace is Possible, Kevin Hin from Step Up  For Europe, and Heidi Solba from Let’s Do it World and World Cleanup Day.

During the panel, the panelists were asked about the challenges young people face in building and growing movements and what it takes for movements to have sustainable societal and political impact.

Following the Q&A, participants split up into groups with the panelists for round-table discussions. During the round-table discussions, participants considered the challenges as well as the solutions they have encountered in their own work or in the work of other initiatives. They also discussed which community stake-holders must be engaged in order to address issues in a powerful and meaningful way.

After the round-table discussions, the facilitator shared the different ways to get involved with the initiatives spotlighted at the session and encouraged those present to engage as advocates with a “global citizen mindset.”

The Ban Ki-moon Centre looks forward to partnership with JCI on more exciting events in the future. Learn more about the initiatives mentioned and find out ways to get involved by clicking on the names that are linked to their websites.

Ban Ki-moon Centre Presents at JCI World Congress in Goa

Last week, the Ban Ki-moon Centre’s Associate Julia Zimmerman participated and represented the Centre in its partner Junior Chamber International’s (JCI)‘s World Congress in Goa, India. The Centre was introduced to the JCI community at the General Assembly during which a video greeting from Co-chair Heinz Fischer was also screened and shared with the audience from all over the world.

The Ban Ki-moon Centre also hosted a workshop “The Global Citizen Mindset” and featured advocacy specialists. The workshop aimed to help participants understand the concept of advocacy and the role young people can play in advocating for causes they care about. It also emphasized different opportunities to engage with advocacy globally.

JCI is non-profit organization for young active citizens between the ages of 18-40 committed to creating positive impact in their communities. JCI has members around the world and seeks to help them in developing the skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to make informed decisions, and most importantly, to take action for positive change.

 

JCI’s mission is:

“To provide development opportunities that empower young people to create positive change”

Every year, JCI holds a week-long World Congress including trainings, workshops, social and networking events, and meetings with its leadership and General Assembly. As JCI is a valued partner of the Ban Ki-moon Centre that promotes the notion of global citizenship and the importance of youth empowerment, Secretary-General Arrey Obenson of JCI is on the Board of the Centre.

During the opening ceremony of the world congress, national presidents took to the stage while displaying their countries’ flags and inciting cheers from the audience. However, as much as national pride was celebrated, the collective mission of JCI and its members was the overarching theme.

Learn more about the JCIWC: http://www.jciwc2018.com/