Enabling Youth Through Social Protection: Education, Employment, & Environment
Apefa Adjivon (Canada) - Founder & Executive Director of The Pearl Project
Apefa runs a mentorship program for girls, that takes into account their experiences, culture, race, socioeconomic status and other factors when pairing mentors.
She spoke about how The Pearl Project came from her own barriers to accessing social protection, due to her race and gender. Her program aims to pair students up with mentors who can relate to them socially, as well as a mentor for their career interests. This gives young girls goals in terms of who, and what they want to be.
Agostino Sella (Italy) - President & Founder of Associazione Don Bosco
Associazione Don Bosco provides shelters and education for immigrants, especially those coming from Africa. They work to integrate members into Italian society by teaching them sustainable agricultural and enterprising skills.
They are then giving the opportunity to return back to their hometowns to implement sustainable agriculture micro-enterprises in those areas, to increase economic development
Devopriya Dutta (India) (Joined via prerecorded video) - Coordinator for Tarumitra
Devopriya works with youth in India on sustainable development, advocacy for those in need, women's rights, and their intertwining with cultural events. They work to educate many throughout the country on how to be organic, on solar power, and how to clean water.
Morgan Thobe (USA) - Youth Engagement Fellow at UNICEF USA
Morgan shared her insights in how as a college student, she became involved in UNICEF. She expressed concerns about how she and other college students were facing barriers to entry in terms of NGO engagement due to financial restraints. She offered insight into ongoing efforts to increase the number of paid internships.
Saphira Rameshfar - Representative to the United Nations for Baha'i International
Saphira expressed excitement in the rise of youth involvement in service to others, and described some possible futures for increased involvement. She described her view of the system as one that is inherently unjust, and called for redistribution of wealth. She raised important questions about how we will support and work with youth to address causes of poverty. She also called upon the group to think about how we can design a better system that is more inclusive to all
As a young person myself, this event was quite exciting. I was able to see what others in my age group were working on within and outside of the United Nations. The panelists were quite exciting, and doing some amazing projects. It made me very excited to not only continue this work, but to advocate for more young people to become involved. I know with more young people, we can find creative ways to protect the most vulnerable among us.