Sierra Leone

 

  • blank

  • How ICSW empowered me to become a better activist

    By Augustine Macarthy, Sierra Leone

    AugustineLast month, I had the opportunity to attend International Civil Society Week 2019 (ICSW). It was a turning point for me, as my participation gave me the opportunity to share experiences and ideas with brilliant civil society representatives from every corner of the world. The event built my skills and gave me access to tools and resources that will effectively steer my future work.

    Firstly, this year’s theme, “The Power of Togetherness,” helped me better understand the relevance and impact of collaboration. Building alliances with other civil society actors, stakeholders and community members which will contribute towards a sustainable civil space and strengthen our interventions. Collaboration and co-creation are key in responding to some of the pressing challenges we face as activists.

    ICSW 2019 also helped me realize the scope of the challenges facing civil society in an increasingly restrictive civic space. Activists have it harder than ever: according to the CIVICUS Monitor, nearly six in ten countries globally are severely impeding on people’s freedom to protest, engage in activism and defend human rights. In this context, collaboration is key. Working together will be essential in   ensuring respect to civic space. This event has inspired me to keep the momentum and continue promoting civic freedoms. Human rights are fundamental and universal, and defending them is crucial in order to  initiate changes and address social issues.

    As per the sessions, one that turned out to be particularly useful for me was organized by Bridge47. Under the title “Global Citizenship Education: the Power of Sharing Power,” the event inspired me with new ideas and resources for collaboration. Moreover, this session introduced me to the concept of Global Citizenship Education, a transformative approach meant to develop the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes needed for a more just, peaceful, tolerant, inclusive, secure and sustainable world. Since I am involved in an education, peacebuilding and youth organization, becoming acquainted with this concept has been a crucial development, and I will definitely use the learnings from this session to improve our strategies.

    One of the most inspirational stories I heard came from Dessy Aliandrina, Executive Director at Sociopreneur Indonesia. Dessy uses entrepreneurship and innovation to boost the creativity of the young generation in Indonesia. Through education and experimentation, her organization fosters an environment where future entrepreneurial leaders can thrive and create the jobs that are required to solve people’s problems. This is a fundamental undertaking: not only does Dessy help ensure the availability of crucial skills to tackle important challenges, but she also plays an important role in training Indonesian youth to boost their self-reliance and realize their potential.

    Furthermore, my organization Movement towards Education and Youth Empowerment-Sierra Leone was one of the six partners that helped plan the Youth Assembly, which took place the weekend before ICSW in Novi Sad, Serbia. As a planning team member, I had the privilege of working for four months with a group of very bright youth leaders from across the world. We were tasked with designing a program that would strengthen young activists’ skills to become resilient against threats and more effective in responding to other challenges. This not only gave all of us the opportunity to share ideas ahead of the event, but it also enhanced my ability to take action, use my creativity, and improve my communication skills.

    As a young changemaker, I will employ all this knowledge and skills and I will tap into the networks I contacted during the event. My community is experiencing pressing humanitarian crises, and the strategies we develop to respond to them will be largely informed by learnings from ICSW 2019.

    If you would like to connect with Augustine, you can find him on Facebook.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Youths adopt Post- 2015 Development Vision

    Youths from different organizations and communities have adopted a powerful post -2015 development vision in a two-day consultation workshopheld in Freetown.The workshop was organized by Young Men Christian Association (YMCA) in collaboration with Restless Development (RD) and Ipasas leading organizations from Sierra Leone to feed into the post Millennium Development Goal (MDG) agenda.


    Outcomes from the consultation, according to the organizers, will be contributed to the framework that will be guiding future government policies not only in developing countries but also globally, on the ideas to ensure that any future development would recognize the role that young people play as assets and problem solvers.


    One of the facilitators, Moses Johnson from YMCA said that the workshop was for youth to identify the issues and challenges in the MDG and see what gaps and how they could be addressed in the next development framework, which could be set after 2015.


    He said young people will look at the MDG’s to see how far they can suggest alternatives that will replace them after 2015, adding that this workshop is among series of processes that various international organizations are undertaking to add youngpeople’s voice to the next development framework.

    Read more at Awoko Business