Sneak Peek of Thursday’s Youth Engagement Session @ #WWWeek


Here is your sneak peek in to “Key successful practices for youth engagement in water for development”. A session brought to you by the Swedish Water House together with the Water Youth Network and the World Youth Parliament for Water.

We asked our speakers to share the challenges and successes they have encountered as youth, or champions of youth, when engaging in water development. Unemployment and lack of funding are two challenges many youth are currently facing. This is happening at a time when youth are finishing their studies, are brimming with fresh ideas and are ready to burst into a career in water development. However, the challenge for employment also represents a trigger for entrepreneurship, as it is the case with our speakers.

Hope Mwanake shares with us that her drive to implement actionable change, in spite of lack of employment opportunities, motivated her “together with other young professionals to start an organization [Trace Kenya] whose mission is to revolutionize the waste management crisis in Kenya”.

Ahmed Shafa tells us that some young professionals overcome financing restraints by accepting risk and personally funding the launch of their own projects. Unfortunately, for many students financing still represents a challenge. However he says that having a “platform for connect and promote the projects can not only create employment but also solve the simple community issues which are often neglected by NGO’s with bigger projects.”

According to the speakers, young people have the potential to think out of the box, and to not only develop but implement solutions. A great advantage is that “youth nowadays do not believe in learning from books but rather going out to the field” (Ahmed Shafa). This hands on experience has the potential to inspire innovative and realistic ideas on how to solve current global water issues.

Sometimes we may think that one, as a young individual, cannot produce meaningful change at the global level. This feeling may discourage many good initiatives. Our speakers think otherwise and share how youth can personally make a difference:

•           Hope M. encourages us to “be the change that we want to see ourselves. Our actions, no matter how small they may seem, are baby steps towards sustainability.”

•           Ahmed S. advises not to feel overwhelmed and encourages youth by saying that “local actions can lead to global solutions. We must think globally and act locally.”

Now, we ask you: What potential do you see for you(th)? What do you think are the challenges faced by youth engaged in the water sector? How do you think we can counteract them? And, what successes stories of engaged youth can share?

Join us on Thursday 27th of August at the FH Little Theater from 9:00 to 10:30 am to share your experiences and improve understanding of what is needed to boost youth engagement for change!